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Digitization has forever changed the world we live in. Computers, Smartphones, Wearables and AI enabled chat bots have clouded our lives and there's no escape route, unless you have set yourself on a journey to 'Into the Wild', which I believe is not the case if you are reading this article.
What suffers in all of this is human's basic right- the Privacy, which is often ignored or compromised in this digital era. You might not realize the fact that a government agency, a group of hackers or simply an e-commerce platform might be spying on the messages or emails going out from your smartphone. Sounds scary? It is actually.
To make sure whatever text you send from your smartphone is not read by anyone else on network, you should use secure messaging platforms. Thankfully, Android and iOS have some free messaging apps that are designed to safeguard your privacy.
And to make things easy for you, we have compiled a list of 5 best free secure messaging apps that you must download if you really care about your privacy. You can thank us later.
Signal Private Messenger
The first in our list is Signal that features end-to-end encryption to keep all of your private conversations secure. The app also tops our list as a secure business messaging app as it allows users to set up encrypted groups for private conversations with your entire work team. The best part is that not only are the messages encrypted, but the group metadata such as the membership list, group title, or group icon are also hidden from app's serves. Signal requires your phone number and address book and no separate logins, usernames, passwords, or PINs to activate.
The app uses an open source peer-reviewed cryptographic protocols to keep your messages safe. The app's server never has access to any of your communication and never stores any of your data.
Wickr Me allows you to send end-to-end encrypted text, video, picture and voice messenger with full sender control. The app lets you set an "expiration date" for every message you send. You just need to select a date and time for the message to expire, and the app will automatically delete the message or image that you share with your contact.
Moreover, Wickr removes all records, geotags and identifying information from your messages and media
Proton Mail- Encrypted Email
Most of us use our smartphones to send emails that should be protected from unauthorized access on networks. ProtonMail is a free app that Ensure your emails stay private and cannot be intercepted or disclosed to third parties. The app offers encrypted email, which makes it virtually impossible for anyone to read it except the sender and the recipient.
The app brings PGP end-to-end encryption where all messages are stored in encrypted forma and not even ProtonMail can read your messages. Besides, the app has a modern user interface with a full set of features such as customizable swipe gestures and the ability to send expiring emails.
As the name suggest, ChatSecure is one of the most secure messaging platform in the market. The app uses open-source, publicly auditable encryption libraries to protect your privacy. With ChatSecure, you can connect to your existing accounts on Google, create new accounts on public XMPP servers or even connect to your own server for extra security.
Most importantly, ChatSecure doesn't require your phone number of any other personal data to get started.
PixelKnot: Hidden Messages
PixelKnot is a unique messaging application that allows you to share messages by hiding them in a picture format. While sending messages over PixelKnot, only your friends with the secret password will be able to unlock your message. Others will only see a picture. You can use the camera to take photos, or just use photos you've already taken.
PixelKnot uses a steganography algorithm F5 to safeguard your privacy. The algorithm implements matrix encoding to improve the efficiency of embedding messages in images.