Keeping in touch with friends and family around the world is simple with the thousands of messaging apps available today. Whether you use an iPhone, Android, Windows PC, or MacBook, there’s a popular app out there that can keep you connected. However, some of them aren’t secure, leaving your personal information vulnerable.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world and it used to be one of the most secure. Recently, however, it announced that it reserves the right to collect and share data with Facebook. These apps say that they use the information they collect to improve targeted advertisements, but it’s a breach of privacy no matter how you look at it.
If you want to be sure that your privacy is protected while you message your family, friends, and co-workers, check out our top seven tips below.
Look for Apps That Offer End-to-End Encryption
End-to-end encryption ensures that no one can see the contents of a message you send aside from your recipient and yourself. Not even your ISP, the app maker, or the government can see the contents of a message that’s end-to-end encrypted. Encryption also doesn’t allow for copies of the content to be stored on servers or anywhere else.
There are loads of chat apps that use end-to-end encryption, but you won’t find Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, or Instagram on that list. While WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, it also shares information with Facebook and any Facebook affiliated companies, whose privacy measures are pretty lax, to say the least.
Use a VPN App
For an added layer of security, you can search for a VPN app to keep your identity completely classified while messaging. The app reroutes your traffic through a secure tunnel so that they are all encrypted and protected from spying, even from your ISP.
Your data and activity are often exposed when you are connected to a public network. Make sure you secure your personal information by turning on your VPN app.
Look for apps that allow you to delete messages
Messaging apps that offer multi-mode communication allow users to send video, audio, and text, along with the option to delete those messages later, or to delete any message that’s delivered to them. The ability to delete messages can help you keep your privacy protected, but do keep in mind that these messages may still be stored on a server if you’re sending them through an open-source app.
Try an App That Offers Multi-Platform Support
There are a lot of messaging apps that offer multi-platform support, which can be a helpful tool in keeping your messages private. If you use a messaging app that’s connected to your laptop, tablet, and smartphone, multi-platform support makes it possible for you to store your messages on the device of your choosing while deleting them from the other devices it’s connected with.
Be Knowledgeable About Team Chat Apps
As working from home has become increasingly more popular, many businesses are using team chat apps to host virtual meetings and keep team members connected through chat and other mediums. If you need to join a team chat app for work, or if you’re thinking of starting something up with one, make sure that you understand its features as well as its level of privacy and protection before you dive in.
Keep Your Screen Protected
Once you’ve chosen a secure app and are using a secure connection to send and receive messages, keep your data private from actual prying eyes by using a screen protector to darken and shield your screen. Such products make it impossible for someone to see what’s on your screen by standing next to you or peering over your shoulder – they would have to be staring at the screen dead-on along with you.
Use a Camera Cover
We’ve all heard creepy stories about agencies and hackers spying through open cameras on electronic devices. That’s why more and more laptops, tablets, and webcams are being designed with easy-to-use camera shields so that you can feel safe and protected while you’re not using the lens. Closing the camera cover on your laptop or webcam ensures that hackers and agencies can’t tap into your device and watch what’s going on in your room when you leave your laptop open.
Technology has made it so that it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with the people you love and get all your work done online, but it’s also that much easier to lose all your privacy rights without even knowing it. Keep yourself and your personal information protected by following the tips above.