What is a safe alternative to WhatsApp?

TechWhatsApp alternatives: the best secure messaging apps to tryWhether it's setting messages to open in specific locations or destroying chats after 24 hours, these secure apps ha

What is a safe alternative to WhatsApp?


WhatsApp alternatives: the best secure messaging apps to try

Whether it's setting messages to open in specific locations or destroying chats after 24 hours, these secure apps have got your back(in case Whatsapp goes down again) VIEWCOMMENTS

Galina Zhigalova / Dreamstime.comByHafsa [email protected] October 2021W

hatsApp is the worlds most popular messaging app with over two billion users, so when it stops working  like Mondays hours-long outage  the world spins in reverse.

But this weeks black-out was not an isolated incident. In 2019, the app was used by hackers as a channel to install spyware on the devices of activists in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Mexico. Scammers frequently target WhatsApp users and hijack their accounts and a few years ago, security flaws (now rectified) meant that hackers could add people to group chats.

One of WhatsApps most appealing feature however, is its end-to-end encryption (E2EE). This means the only people who can view the message are the senders and receivers.

Yet WhatsApp isnt the only app to offer E2EE. Below are eight free alternatives ready to download that can keep your secrets just as safe and secure  and protect you from another FOMO feeling.

1. Telegram

As the messaging app with a focus on speed and security, its no wonder that Telegram is one of the top ten most downloaded apps. Its ability to create channels for unlimited audiences and groups for up to 200, 000 people make it the jewel for all from the influencer to the businessperson.

But its shining glory has to be the Secret Chats  Telegrams E2EE. This lets you self-destruct your messages, photos, videos and files in a set amount of time after it has been opened and seen by the recipient. Mission Impossible eat your heart out. In fact, the company is so confident that its undecipherable, its willing to put money on it. Thats right: $300, 000 for the person who can beat the odds.

2. Viber

Or Rakuten Viber as is its official name since being bought by Japanese software company, Rakuten in 2014, does what it says on the packet. Its one of the top five phone call and messaging apps, listing Russia, Australia and the US as its biggest markets.

Alongside its default E2EE, you have the option of setting messages to disappear and be notified if a screenshot has been taken of it. Viber is multiplatform too meaning you can use it across your phone, laptop, desktop and tablet. Pretty handy for busy professionals.

3. Line

The question is, What doesnt Line do? Japans most popular messaging app has a humanitarian history to it. Originally set-up in 2011 when communication channels were downed after Japans strongest recorded earthquake and a tsunami, it is the brainchild of internet company Naver employees. The E2EE is offered through the Letter Sealing function. All you need to do, is download Line and youre ready to go.

Dust allows you to delete any message you send to someone else's device at any time / Dust

4. Dust

Co-founded by Mark Cuban of Shark Tank fame, Dust is extreme in its mission to keep your messages safe. You can unsend messages at any time on the app, which deletes the message from someone elses device as well as yours, and you also receive a notification if anyone screenshots a chats content.

All history is automatically erased after 24 hours. Handy to keep messages safe from prying eyes, not so useful when you want to double-check the arrangements for those Friday night plans.

5. Silence

Silence is slightly different from the other apps in that it is focused on more old school encrypted texting (SMS and MMS) instead of encrypted instant messaging which the likes of Dust and Signal champion.

Simply download the app to get going and use it instead of the messages app on your device. You dont need to get anyone else to download it either, unlike the other apps which require moving to a new platform. Given it is focused on texting and not IM, you can use it without an internet connection

6. Signal

Signals secure nature was given a stamp of approval by the European Commission this month, which told its staff to start using the app for communications between them and people outside the organisation. According toPolitico, a message on the commissions internal messaging boards said: Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging.

The app uses E2EE and is open-source so if you have the tech knowledge, you can check under the hood effectively to see how its all working. A disappearing message feature comes in handy too if you want to get rid of any communications.

7. Wire

If you spend a lot of time using messaging apps for work, then Wire is one of the best when it comes to secure work platforms. Everything is E2EE on the platform, including conference calls and files sent through the chat.

In 2019, the companymoved its HQ from Luxembourg to the USafter raising £6.3 million ($8.2 million). Like Signal, its encryption is open-source so the source code can be inspected.

8. Yeo

One to look out for, Yeo is founded by father-daughter duo Alan Jones and Sarah Norford-Jonesas the ultimate consumer privacy app. It uses facial recognition to log into the app (something you can now do on WhatsApp), as well as E2EE and there are no adverts or data-sharing to third parties. A geo-fencing feature also means you can restrict where a recipient views and opens a message down to a specific location.

Its not available on the app stores just yet, however, though you can test it out on TestFlight if you want.

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