Despite the proliferation of instant messaging applications in recent years, WhatsApp continues to be the first choice for hundreds of millions of users around the world. However, since protecting privacy is now more important than ever, it is worth considering all the alternatives available and choosing the one that best suits our needs to have private conversations.
Due to Facebook’s poor performance in user privacy over the past few years, WhatsApp has been criticized by privacy advocates around the world. As a result, alternative messaging apps like Signal and Telegram have seen a surge in their usage.
But what do you get when you choose one of these other options? Which messaging app gives you the most control over your privacy settings? let’s find out
WhatsApp is by far one of the most widely used messaging programs available today. It has an edge over the majority of its competitors, but it lacks a variety of features that have been accessible on other mobile apps. Despite this, it continues to have a large number of users, which contributes to its popularity. How often do you see all your contacts switch to another messaging service at the same time?
However, just because it lacks functionality doesn’t mean it lacks privacy, which is one of the most important components of communication in the modern world. In 2016, WhatsApp started using end-to-end encryption based on the system developed by Signal.
Because WhatsApp automatically encrypts your messages and calls from start to finish, you don’t have to worry about being the vulnerable link in your own or someone else’s interactions. This applies to both you and the contacts you exchange messages with. Encryption cannot be disabled as there is no way to do it. Additional privacy options are also available, e.g. B. Notifications that are sent each time one of your contacts’ security code is updated, messages that disappear once read, and more.
However, WhatsApp is plagued by additional security flaws, one of which is the fact that it is owned by Facebook. This is a problem as it makes WhatsApp less secure. The controversial user data-harvesting practices implemented by the world’s largest social media company have drawn harsh condemnation from a variety of government agencies, including those in India. For this reason, you should probably look for other options and gradually switch your chat groups to the appropriate applications.
Signal has been the go-to choice for secure communications for quite some time, and the quality of the program itself has only increased over the course of its existence. The fact that the app is both open source and free is perhaps the best thing about it. As a result, the app’s code base is accessible to anyone interested in seeing it.
Signal does not yet support some of the features available in other messaging apps, such as B. UPI payments, starred messages, live location sharing and more. Still, Signal is currently the best choice if you’re looking for a communication app that’s both the most secure and respectful of your privacy.
Telegram is an additional option to WhatsApp and Signal; Still, it has a significant downside, which is that end-to-end encryption isn’t enabled by default.
If you enable encryption in a chat, the conversation will stop syncing between devices, which is one of Telegram’s most attractive features. However, this feature becomes useless as encrypted conversations cannot be read on other devices.
Telegram records users’ IP addresses and collects other user data, and its encryption has not yet been properly tested by independent security experts. This is an additional concern that should be considered and addressed.
Telegram offers a wide range of features that neither WhatsApp nor Signal can access, and its applications also have a very high level of responsiveness to user input. On the other hand, if protecting your privacy is your first priority, you should know that it comes last on this list.