In 2019, we came over the fact that NSA receives almost 200 million Text Messages every day. That is when we understood that our privacy was indeed being capture. The truth is, we live in an era of internet surveillance & data logging, where organizations do almost anything to get our personal information. Fortunately, there has been a rise in Private Messaging Applications, focusing on keeping our privacy intact through end-to-end encryption and other ways. Well, we searched various messaging apps that claim to be secure and found the best Secure Messaging Applications among them. (Updated Feburary 2021)
Why We Need Secure Messaging Apps?
There are many motives as to why we need Secure Messaging Applications. In a test managed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the most popular messaging applications (BBM, Facebook Messenger, Hangout, Kik Messenger, Skype, Snapchat, Viber, Yahoo Messenger) we use failed to tick most security standards.
This suggests that while these applications are great, the companies might be using our conversations to target advertising in a better way. Furthermore, reading our private conversations is surely an invasion of our privacy.
Besides our personal privacy invasion, there are different industries where Secure Messaging Applications are a must. Legal and Advisory firms need the best in class Secure Messaging Applications because they wouldn’t want their client’s sensitive information to leak out.
Health care is an alternate industry where Secure Messaging Applications must protect patient info from leaking out to everyone. The finance, Banking, & Insurance industries also need Secure Messaging Applications because the information they share is very confidential. They need to be sure regarding sending such sensitive info on an app.
These are surely good enough motive to suggest that we indeed need Secure Messaging Applications that give our privacy the priority. Fortunately, we have found some great Secure Messaging Applications for you. But before that, let’s get find out what makes a messaging app secure.
What Makes a Messaging App Secure?
To make a messaging application secure, the first and foremost rule is to have Ended to End encryption (E2E). E2E messages can be perceived only by the sender and the receiver. And the top part is that not even the service provider can locate your chats. Secondly, the service provider should be found in regions where the government is less hostile against user privacy.
For instance, the EU is the best place to run a company that deals with user data. It has some of the best privacy rules that protect user data from third-party organizations and government interference. Next, a protected messaging service should not bow down to government pressure, and it much has a history of standing up for customer rights.
One of the best examples is Signal, which works in the US, but regularly defends customer privacy and even takes the government to court. Aside from that, if a non-profit company funds a messaging service, makes both server and client-side code open-source and allows metadata encryption, then it makes the service more reliable.
Best Private Messaging Apps to Keep Your Conversation Private
Here, we have listed all the secret chat applications so that you can take a quick look at all the listings. You can also move to the corresponding application by clicking on the link. Besides that, if you want to learn the need for a private messaging app and what makes a messaging service secure, then go through our explainers below.
WhatsApp is another highly popular messaging application that has brought end-to-end encryption to the masses. And the top part is that the encryption is enabled by default and extends to all kinds of communication on WhatsApp, be it messages, audio or video calls, and WhatsApp Web. It utilizes the encryption protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems — the organization behind Signal messenger.
The cryptographic protocol has been defined as the Signal protocol, and it’s fully open-source. Furthermore, the protocol has been peer-reviewed by several security researchers. Apart from that, on the customer’s side, WhatsApp now allows a native app locker, which is great. Next, you also have the choice to enable 2FA on WhatsApp, and that’s again commendable.
That being said, keep in thought, WhatsApp does not encrypt cloud backups on Android. Further, it does not encrypt the metadata, which is used to carry communication between two endpoints. This is 1 of the major criticisms of WhatsApp’s security model. While metadata does not permit anyone to read your messages, Let’s understand this whom and when you messaged somebody and for how long.
Next, WhatsApp is held by Facebook, which is a major point of concern. Furthermore, the company is implicated in giving users’ data to intelligence agencies. At the end of the day, while on paper, WhatsApp remains secure, the owner’s controversial stand on privacy makes it a less appealing choice among privacy-minded users.
Everybody is pretty well informed with Telegram, the very popular WhatsApp competitor. Telegram ticks all the boxes when it comes to being a Secure Messaging Application, thanks to its “Secret Chats” feature.
Telegram is a Secure Messaging Application, but its Secure Chats bring end-to-end encryption (E2E) along with the ability to send self-destructing content like texts, media, & files. Even without the Secret Chats feature, Telegram delivers standard encryption to all your data, but that is not end-to-end.
In addition to being secure, Telegram is a highly capable messaging application that’s available on most platforms, including a web version, and it can go toe to toe with any other messaging application when it comes to features.
Aside from that, Telegram is fast, reliable, and packs feature like large group chats, broadcasts, file & media sharing with incomparable size limitations and more extra. It also highlights cloud syncing so that you do not lose your chats even when you are switching your devices. You can go through our post on Telegram tips and tricks to learn more about its features.
Threema is another highly Secure Messaging Application that is quite popular and deservedly so. It does what it’s assumed to do, that is, keeping data out of Governments, corporations, & hackers’ hands. Threema conveys end-to-end encryptions to messages, group chats, shared media, and even statuses.
The developers have also ensured that your privacy remains intact no matter what, as it deletes any messages on the server once they are dispatch while other details like groups & contacts are saved on the device’s local storage. To use Threema, you don’t require an email id or phone number, as the application provides you with a unique Threema ID.
Along with the security traits, Threema is a comprehensive messaging application, thanks to some unique traits like a poll, ability to send most file types (pdf, gif, doc, mp3, zip, etc.) along with the usual traits like sending texts, voice messages & more.
Signal Private Messenger
In our comparison among Signal vs Telegram vs WhatsApp, we found that Signal is the most Secure Messaging Application out there. Signal utilizes the gold standard, open-source Signal Protocol, to perform end-to-end encryption. And it implements E2E encryption on all kinds of communication on Signal– be it voice/video calls, chats messages, media or audio clips.
While other messaging applications also encrypt messages and calls, Signal goes one level further and encrypts the metadata too. To protect customer privacy from all corners, Signal devised a new way to interface between the sender and the recipient, and it’s called Sealed Sender. Primarily, with Sealed Sender, no one will be capable of knowing — not even Signal — who is messaging whom, which is excellent.
Also, you have some incredible privacy traits on Signal that will make your messaging experience, even more, private and secure. For example, you can secure a Signal with a passcode or biometrics. Then there is 2FA and a choice to block screenshots within the application and the recent screen. And just now, Signal added a new feature to blur faces automatically before sending images. That’s great, right?
Not to state, Signal, by default, encrypts all the local files with a 4 digit passphrase. And if you need to create a local encrypted backup, then you can do that as well. In terms of security and privacy protection, Signal stands head & shoulder above the competition. You can learn more further about its feature from our article on the best Signal tips and tricks.
Wickr Me, as it wants to call itself, is another messaging application that aims to convey a secure chat experience. Most of its traits are aimed to make you feel more protected. It delivers end-to-end encryption of texts, voice messages, videos, and pictures. It also includes a “Shredder” feature that irrevocably deletes all your chats, media content from your device.
There are a number of other security traits like anonymity when it comes to Wickr ID, no metadata info, the ability to set an expiration time on all messaging content, and more. Wickr Me also affirmed not reading any messages of yours, not collecting any of your personal information, and does not own the media or text you send on Wickr.
Wickr Me seems pretty like a secure, private communication program, and it’s no failure when it comes to messaging features. You can forward texts, audios, images, videos & create groups, which are a little restricted with only 10 contacts per group.
It also supports cool stickers, graffiti, & cool photo filters. Wickr Me is available free of cost on Android, iOS, and desktop platforms like Windows, macOS & Linux.
Element.io, which was earlier well known as Riot, is a secure chat application that is built around protecting user privacy. It allows end-to-end encryption out of the box, which means that your conversations are fully encrypted and only the sender & receiver can read the messages. After the transformation from Rio to Element, the Secure Messaging Application has become more enterprise-friendly.
You can now utilize it for team collaborations, and as such, it includes a bundle of tools to help you streamline your team’s workflow. The messaging application is developed using the low-latency Matrix open communications protocol, which means the performance will be top-notch despite hardened encryption.
Aside from that, Element can be used to share messages, images, videos, & files of any type within groups of any size. In addition, now there is support for group video & voice calls too. Easily put, if you run a medical, legal, or any sort of business where confidentiality is a top requirement, then Element.io is your best secure chat app.
The Wire is a secret messaging application available on iOS, Android and other desktop platforms. The E2E encryption is redirected by default, so that is great, and the encryption applies to all kinds of communication on Wire. It also promotes group collaboration with enhanced security, so if you are running a company or a business and need a private messaging application, then Wire is just perfect.
Next, the company is established in Switzerland, so you have ironclad privacy rules of the EU to protect your data. Will Respect of data collection, Wire has been found to collect minimal data only to forward messages in a secure manner. I prefer Wire because it also encrypts the metadata, which should improve user security by many folds.
In addition, Wire encrypts all the backup files— both on Android & iOS– so that no one can see your data. To summarize, Wire is a highly secret messaging application for iPhone, Android smartphones, and you should give it a try.
Cyber Dust is a cool, Secure Messaging Application that delivers pretty sleek features along with security & privacy. It wants to call its messages Dust and broadcast messages Blast. All the Dusts and Blasts are massively encrypted and are never stored in permanent storage.
The application, along with others on this list, prevents screenshots as well. The messages vanish within 100 seconds or in 24 hours if it lives unopened by the recipient. All Cyber Dust message is encrypted with its own individual 128-bit AES encryption along with added security through the RSA 2048-bit key.
Cyber Dust is a social media program as well as being a Secure Messaging Application, as it lets you follow people. You can give your followers a blast or build a group of people with similar interests.
It also delivers you exclusive content from celebrities along with news that might entertain you. Shortly, Cyber Dust is a secure messaging as well as a secure social media community platform.
Surespot Encrypted Messenger might not have the top user interface among Secure Messaging Applications, but its security & privacy features are solid indeed. Every message sent utilizing Surespot is end-to-end encrypted with symmetric key encryption. According to Surespot, no matter what you send to a person will only be read by that person, Period.
That’s quite a bold affirm, but Surespot’s encryption details do look promising. You now have total control over the application, and you can have various identities for different people.
Surespot also highlights voice messages that are encrypted the same way as text messages, so nothing to worry about here. It might not be quite feature-rich on the messaging front, but it gives you the promise and confidence to send any message without any problems. Surespot Messenger is open source and cost-free, although there are some in-app purchases for features like voice calls.
ChatSecure is a cost-free and open-source encrypted messaging application for iOS. It takes several measures to make sure there are no loopholes in your security and privacy needs. The Secure Messaging Application features OTR (Off-the-record) encryption over XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). You can open your Facebook or Google accounts to use it or create an account on public XMPP servers.
The application also provides you with the ability to use your own server for your account, so you don’t have any doubts about your information. ChatSecure uses open-source cryptographic libraries & its source code is auditable as well. It also utilizes SQLCipher to encrypt conversation logs locally on your device’s storage.
ChatSecure’s security and privacy traits might be a little confusing, but they are very strong indeed. The application uses everything there is to make sure you have a protected chatting experience.
It highlights the usual traits like the ability to send text, audio, files, images, video, and more on the messaging front. It’s free of cost on the Google Play Store and iTunes.
Install: iOS (Free App)
Private Messaging Apps 2021 Secret Chat App For Lovers
Our security and privacy are of supreme importance, but as we mentioned, not everyone takes it seriously. It’s true that if we take things severely, we will not be able to enjoy our favourite applications and services. There’s also a difficulty with these Secure Messaging Applications; that is, we don’t have enough customers on them to converse with.
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Well, if you and your friends and family are aware of the security issues and they are willing to jump ship to a more Secure Messaging App, then these apps should come in pretty handy. You should check out these great Secure Messaging Apps, and do let us know your experience, as we love to hear from you.