Privacy is being compromised every day and many are willingly handing over their information. The problem with this is it getting into the hands of those with nefarious agendas. Who are they? I don’t know and neither do you! That’s the point.
One area of major concern is smartphones. These are monitored constantly by who knows who. Security agencies, marketing companies, etc.
Most of us hear stories about having a discussion about an item they’re interested in buying while in the proximity of a cell phone and then seeing an ad for that item the next time they’re online. Creepy is a mild word for this.
Then there are text messages. These are monitored as well and in this case, actual conversations can be followed. Fortunately, you can protect your privacy. There are several messaging apps out there with a variety of privacy features. Many people choose WhatsApp as it claims end-to-end encryption. This is good, except that it’s owned by Facebook! ’nuff said!
There are three other messaging apps I’ve looked at for privacy. They are 1. Telegram 2. Signal 3. Threema. I tried Telegram and while the features are very good and its privacy setting like encryption and auto message delete, it lacks transparency in its backend code. This means if it’s hacked, only a few with access to the code can fix it.
Threema is a Swiss app and costs $4 to buy. This is good since the manufacturer is being directly paid for the app, which avoids them needing to sell data to fund the project. It also has excellent encryption, auto-delete messages, etc.
Of these, I use Signal. It has all the privacy features I wanted, plus is an open-source backend code. This means a lot of users are monitoring it for vulnerabilities, which are fixed very quickly. It is free and can be used as your default messaging app. This means you can use it with anyone, although the privacy features only work with someone who also is using it.
Interestingly, I’ve sent invitations to several friends to join me on Signal and only a few have downloaded it. This lack of concern for their personal privacy is a boon to marketers, governments, and any other potentially bad actor out there. It’s unfortunate.
Here are links to the 3 apps, should anyone want to investigate them further. Better yet, if you value your privacy, start using one of them. (I recommend Signal)
Telegram – https://telegram.org/
Threema – https://threema.ch/en
Signal – https://signal.org/en/