Secure Messaging apps and Protection from Big Tech Companies

WhatsApp is a messaging app owned by Facebook. In 2014, Facebook bought the app for $19 billion.

Since then, Zuckerberg has been able to keep his apps at the top. These are Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

There has been works to link all three apps. Users are now able to open Instagram accounts with their Facebook accounts. This extends to users finding Instagram friends via WhatsApp and Facebook.

New Privacy Terms and what it means

WhatsApp is the largest messaging app with over 2 billion users. As they often do, they reviewed their privacy document a few months back. This document contained a number of terms that aren’t welcomed by users.  This has led to unrest and concerns raised many users around the world.

The new privacy terms, which will take effect from May 2021 states:

  • Users no longer retain sole right to share data with third-party apps. This means WhatsApp will have the license to share user data with Facebook.
  • That user data belongs to WhatsApp. This means that they can view the user’s online actions. This excludes chats which are end-to-end encrypted.
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5 Secure Messaging apps that respect your privacy

User and data privacy are key when surfing the web. They are vital and need constant checks. If you are not okay with WhatsApp sharing your data, here are a couple of other Secure Messaging apps you can use to chat with your loved ones and contacts. These private instant messaging apps make sure your chats are safe and are not spied on:

  • Telegram – Telegram is not well-known as WhatsApp. Despite this, the app is very secure. This is because of its end-to-end message encryption feature. Telegram is ranked in the top 5 of global privacy-based apps.
  • iMessage – This is also a well secured messaging platform by Apple. It has many nice features, but one stands out. A sender can set a view limit on a message sent to the other person. This helps take care of private chats. This app is for those who use iOS gadgets.
  • Silence – does not need Internet access for users to chat with themselves. Its security team performs scheduled checks on its system. This is to ensure that there has been no breach.
  • Wickr – is a true secure messaging system. It secures the user’s data and chats.  It has complex, yet secure systems for checking users. This is used during the sign-in process.
  • Signal – This ranks top on the list of most secure messaging apps. Signal has end-to-end encryption and a self-destruct mode. The latter deletes chat after a certain period.

These are only some of the known privacy apps. There are many others that can be found on the web. Based on preference, users can also use Threema, Line, Wire, Dust, etc.

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3 Ways to Ensure Security and Privacy online

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1. Use Tor Browser

The Onion Router browser is maybe the most secure web browser available today. People who don’t want to be tracked online use this browser. With Tor, your data is safe out of reach of firms, ad companies, and the government.

Once you get into the Tor network, you will be able to access certain sites. These sites can only be accessed by other Tor users. These websites make up what is known today as the Dark Web. Known search engines do not index them and it allows total freedom of speech. A diverse number of people visit the dark web like freedom fighters, oppressed people, and news reporters.

The con linked with using Tor is that most sites visited show up as basic websites. There is hardly any fancy design on them like sites on the surface web. Also, using Tor can be quite slow. This is because traffic bounces on several systems before getting to its last stop.

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2. Download a Quality VPN

Today, browsing on the internet is almost like walking a rope. You have the deep blue sea on one side and the devil on the other. If you’re surfing the internet without a hacker spying on your data, you’ll get tracked. Entities that would be able to track you include corporations and the government. On the other hand, a hacker staring down at your internet activity can steal data. This includes your financial data, social media logins, and so on.

With a Virtual Private Network, you can avoid this form of surveillance. A VPN uses a strong level of encryption to prevent your identity from getting discovered. It also prevents your activity from getting tracked. It performs this service by allowing users to connect to virtual servers. These servers change data like your internet address, stopping you from getting located.

When you connect to a VPN, you become safe on an unencrypted public Wi-Fi. You also get to hide all of your internet activity from third parties.

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3. Use Private Search Engines

Although search engines come with certain advantages, the privacy disadvantage is massive. In exchange for getting data quickly, modern search engines record everything about you.

Search engine companies know most people heavily rely on them. In essence, they use that convenience to collect lots of data. Internet addresses, search queries, sites visited through the search engine are stored.

Private search engines log zero of your internet activity. To ensure you get a massive online privacy lift, use a private search engine. There are tons of known private search engines available on the web.

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Conclusion

Top tech companies are spying on us since they have the advantage. For instance, WhatsApp just released a policy forcing data pooling. If you want better online privacy, you can use secure messaging apps. They include Wickr, Signal, Silence, Telegram, and iMessage.

To ensure your security and privacy online, you can start by using private search engines, get a quality VPN for security and use the Tor browser to ensure your online activity never gets stored.

I'm a fulltime freelance Web Developer & Designer. Developing and Writing on tech related stuff is my 'PASSION'. In my spare time, I work as a Youtube Content Creator. Thanks For visiting TechGGyan.

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