So I’m finally giving the Signal messaging app a try. It’s the same messaging app that Edward Snowden uses because it’s currently the most secure platform there is.
Signal messages and calls are always end-to-end encrypted and painstakingly engineered to keep your communication safe. We can’t read your messages or see your calls, and no one else can either.
It works just like a standard messaging app, using your phone number, except there are no stickers or animojis. You can also configure it to delete sent and received messages after a specified time period.
But I don’t have anything to hide!
For those who think “I don’t have anything to hide, why do I need such a secure messaging app?” Check out this TED Talk by Glenn Greenwald on why privacy matters. Greenwald was the first journalist Snowden tried to reach. Snowden contacted Greenwald anonymously and said he had “sensitive documents” that he would like to share.
What about WhatsApp?
Apparently, WhatsApp also uses the same secure-messaging protocol from Open Whisper Systems, the maker of the messaging app Signal., but Facebook owns WhatsApp and Facebook’s thing is to collect as much data as they can and sell ads. So no bueno.
WhatsApp may retain date and time stamp information associated with successfully delivered messages and the mobile phone numbers involved in the messages, as well as any other information which WhatsApp is legally compelled to collect.
That means that it can see that someone contact a suicide center, but it won’t be able to see what messages were sent.
Be safe or be sorry.
I know these things aren’t foolproof. There’s ALWAYS a way around these things, like if there’s some malware on your phone that takes screenshots every few seconds, it can still see the messages you type or read.