- This list of secret texting apps for iPhone and Android includes options that are thoroughly reviewed.
- We have been through their features, security characteristics, reviews, and user opinions to ensure that you have the best apps at your fingertips.
- The biggest security problem with messaging applications is the extent to which third parties, firms behind the apps, or even governments that gather data on their citizens
We live in an age of internet surveillance and data logging. Agencies and government organizations often want access to private communications; we have had instances of CIA hacking attempts and attempts by the FBI to gain unauthorized access. To tackle such issues, there has been a rise in secure and encrypted messaging apps. These apps focus on keeping your privacy intact with a feature called end-to-end encryption (E2E).
Messaging apps provide an easy-to-use way of keeping in touch with friends, family, and co-workers. However, when using them, it’s essential to be aware of online privacy and security.
Messaging apps make it easy to communicate and connect with people around the world. However, with new ways to communicate and connect via technology, there are also new ways for your privacy and security to be breached. Private messages could potentially be read by third parties, the organizations behind the apps, and governments who collect private information on their citizens.
The biggest security problem with messaging applications is the extent to which third parties, firms behind the apps, or even governments that gather data on their citizens, can possibly access private chats.
The main messaging app security concern is the extent to which third parties can potentially read private messages, the companies behind the apps, or even governments that collect data on their citizens. When evaluating messaging app security, key considerations include:
1. End-to-end encryption
Is end-to-end encryption (E2E) supported by the app? Your private chat messages are scrambled by end-to-end encryption, and only the sender and recipient have the “keys” to read them.
2. Self-destructing messages
Messages that self-destruct or vanish disappear after a defined amount of time, depending on your settings.
3. Open source code
Is the code open source? Open source code implies that the programme is subject to external accountability and audits by professionals, which may be a valuable approach to draw attention to any flaws or vulnerabilities in the code.
4. Use of data
Despite the fact that many secure messaging applications employ end-to-end encryption, they can nevertheless gather data about you known as metadata. This includes information such as who you chat with, how long you talk to them, what device you use, your IP address, and your phone number.
What are the most secure messaging apps?
We now have a plethora of texting applications at our disposal. Some, however, have been shown to be more secure than others. We examine some of the most popular alternatives available to determine which messaging applications will keep your data secure and which messaging apps offer poor security.
Being entirely safe in this day and age is difficult, but not impossible. Using the right applications allows you to ensure that other people cannot view your data or communications. These parties might be your Internet service provider (ISP), the app developer, the government, or anybody else.
Each of these parties has its own set of interests. To protect yourself, use applications that provide all of the capabilities required for safe communications.
Please keep in mind that end-to-end encryption is not a security panacea that will keep you safe from government snooping. Even if you use a secure messaging app, anybody with access to your smartphone may read your messages. The best approach to secure your messaging applications is to use a unique password or biometrics (facial, fingerprint, or iris) on your device.
Great encrypted messaging app for customizable privacy options
Compatible operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, KaiOS
Although WhatsApp is utilised by more people than many of the applications listed above, its ownership by Meta (previously Facebook) is concerning. WhatsApp’s inventors originally planned it for individuals to submit status updates, comparable to Facebook’s statuses, in 2009. However, it was the messaging function that sold the app to Meta, which purchased it in 2014. WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, but its ownership raises questions about how it may be utilised in the future.
- WhatsApp’s default E2EE strengthens its privacy and security against hostile attackers. Security difficulties have arisen in the past, but even if thieves gained access to WhatsApp today, they would be unable to decipher your messages.
- It also offers capabilities that are now considered standards, such as video calling, voice messaging, and file sharing.
- Works across many operating systems
- Privacy customization tools
Best encrypted messaging apps which support RCS by default
Compatible operating systems: Android, Windows
Security: Knox Security (Samsung); standard device security (Google)
Samsung Messages and Google Messages are frequently mistaken for one another since they are both included on widely used Android smartphones. Samsung Messages, which is only available on Samsung phones, features a more user-friendly interface. The biggest advantage of Google Messages, however, is the inclusion of RCS (rich communication services) by default, regardless of where you reside or which carrier you use. RCS may be used with Samsung messaging if your carrier enables it. For example, Google Messages is now available on all Verizon plans.
RCS is an SMS (short message service) technology that improves on traditional text messaging. Payments, high-resolution photo/file sharing, location sharing, video calls, and other features are supplied to a device’s default messaging app. Knox’s E2EE security protocol, with its military-grade encryption, is a significant benefit for Samsung Messages users.
- Both Messaging enables end-to-end encryption for all phone conversations, video calls, and instant messages by default.
- Because both Messages are developed using open-source code, their security is continuously reviewed by cybersecurity specialists. Other messaging systems, such as WhatsApp and Skype, have implemented this technique.
- Google Messages has a single line of text preview, but Samsung Messages displays two lines.
- E2EE by default
- Voice calls, video calls, and instant messages are all encrypted
- Technology is vetted by cybersecurity experts
A best encrypted messaging app offering two layers of secure encryption
Compatible operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Telegram’s users benefit from two levels of safe encryption, which is a major feature. Server-to-client encryption is supported by both private and group cloud chats, while client-to-client encryption is supported by secret conversations. Messages are encrypted in both cases. Telegram has lately acquired appeal for organising protests, owing to its ability to host big chat groups of up to 10,000 people. This has attracted the attention of state actors.
- The programme has the ability to encrypt communications, which you may enable as Secret Chats. When enabled, you may configure messages to self-destruct across all of your devices either automatically or at a predetermined period.
- If you do not encrypt your conversation, your data is kept on Telegram’s servers, putting your messages’ security at risk.
- E2EE is likewise not enabled by default in Telegram; you must utilise the Secret Chats feature to activate it.
- Compatible with all major operating systems
- Encrypts group chats of up to 200,000 people
Best encrypted messaging app for iOS devices
Compatible operating systems: macOS, iOS
Price: Free (on Apple devices)
Apple Messages is only available on Apple devices, however, it is exceptional in terms of security protections. Apple Messages, in addition to providing end-to-end encryption between users, allows users to decide how long the message is visible and how many times the receiver may read the message (although this feature is only available to those who have iOS 10 and above).
Your communications are end-to-end encrypted and cannot be viewed without a passcode regardless of which Apple device you’re using, whether iOS, watchOS, or iPadOS. Users of Apple’s FaceTime may also be certain that their video chats are E2EE-enabled.
- Any communication you send using Messages to a non-Apple device will not be encrypted since Messages are only available on Apple devices.
- The ability to back up your communications to iCloud is a big security flaw. Communications in the cloud are encrypted using keys owned by Apple, which means that if your iCloud is ever stolen or subpoenaed, those messages might be released.
- FaceTime calls are also E2EE
- Control how long a message stays up and how many times you can view the message
Best all-around encrypted messaging app
Compatible operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
When it comes to reaching, security, and privacy-enabled features, Signal is perhaps the greatest all-around bet. However, because it is not a pre-loaded default programme within phones, it lacks the usership of the Messages and Messenger applications. Open Whisper Systems, the inventor of TextSecure, began development on Signal, which employed end-to-end encryption to safeguard the transmission of instant messaging, group messages, attachments, and media messages to other TextSecure users. TextSecure was combined with RedPhone, an encrypted voice-calling software, in 2015, and the firm was renamed Signal. Signal has increased in popularity among regular consumers as well as the information security sector since its debut. It still does not have anywhere near the same number of active users as those mentioned.
- Signal delivers E2EE by default for all phone calls, video calls, and instant messaging; it employs its own protocol.
- This technology is 100% open source, which means its security has been evaluated by cybersecurity experts, and it has been adopted by other messaging services such as WhatsApp and Skype.
- Signal also allows you to password-protect the app so that your communications are not intercepted if they fall into the wrong hands. It is also possible to transmit self-destructing texts.
- Compatible with many operating systems
- Open source technology
The absence of full privacy on earlier, well-known services has resulted in the development of the newer applications shown above, which have greater security measures. In our digitally linked world, headlines concerning security breaches appear on a daily basis, forcing us to be more careful about the risks of identity and data theft. With the rising hazards of being spied on or having your chats exposed without your knowledge, data privacy and security are more important than ever in the online world. As a result, using some of the best secure chat applications to connect with friends, family, and coworkers safeguards you from any bad actor attempting to steal your data.
While all of the safe applications listed in this article offer end-to-end encrypted messaging, the ability to sync messages across several devices and platforms, and multi-mode communication (phone, text, video), each offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. Choosing which one to utilise requires determining which extra features are most essential to you.