We live in a hostile digital environment, which is not the ideal place for privacy boost. This means that our conversations are not as private as we would have hoped them to be. As a result, there is the need for secure messaging apps.
These are the vessels towards upping our privacy online. Without them, we cannot trust anyone on the Internet. Even when we know who we are talking to, our messages are never completely bulletproof. If you look at the EFF scoreboard for secure messaging, you will see that most of them failed to score high.Of course, this scoreboard is just version 1.0 and is somehow outdated; but, it still points out the need for entirely secure instant messaging. Although we anticipate the newest version of EFF’s scoreboard, we have created a list of the tools that allow everyone to chat with safety online.
As like Android security apps or any other apps that are perfect for a particular purpose on any of the operating system, you need to get your hands of secure messaging apps too – if you value the privacy of your messages. So, let’s have a look at the top 10 list and start using the best options we have in this field!
Updated February 2017!
Threema is a company from Switzerland and the app is available for download in Google Play Store, App Store and Windows Phone Store. So, this gives you great flexibility and offers you the way to secure your communication every time. It uses end-to-end encryption for your messages, your private chats and even your files and statuses.
Apart from pure texting, you can also send and receive photos and videos, voice messages and QR codes, polls and all sorts of files (including PDF, DOCX, GIF, MP3 etc.). After the delivery of a message, this message stops to exist – it vanishes and with its deletion comes greater privacy.
You do not need to use your email address or your phone number, when you wish to use Threema. This makes it easier for you to enhance security. If you are wondering about its name, it comes from “End-to-End Encrypted Messaging Application” and these three E’s have been the cause of Threema. For business purposes, you can check out Threema Work.
Signal comes from Open Whisper Systems and is available for Androids and iOS running devices. If you are looking for the most secure messaging app, you can use Signal and strengthen security in your texts and phone calls. It is free of charge and it encrypts your data.
The app is automatically in sync with your address book and this makes it really easy to encrypt your communication with all your contacts. In this way, you do not need unique login credentials for accessing the app and initializing its effectiveness. Among its features, you get cool archiving options for better organizing everything on your phone.
If you check their official website, you will see Edward Snowden and his testimonial: “Use anything by Open Whisper Systems” and this definitely shows something! It is also worth noting that there are no logs kept and the company does not have access to your communication.
Gliph is one of the most secure chat apps available today, no doubt about that. You can find it in Google Play Store and App Store, while you can also use it on your desktop as well. So, you get to encrypt all of your communication without any exceptions. Free group messaging is hands down one of the major advantages of this app.
You can start chatting with somebody in a jiffy, using a GliphMe link. The past messages can stay or they can go, according to your own wishes. With the Real Delete button, they disappear into thin air. If you want, you can activate a nickname for you on the app. In this way, you can hide your true identity and make it more fun to communicate safely. Of course, you can always switch back to your real name (let’s say, when you need to talk business).
G Data Secure Chat
If you own an Android, then G Data Secure Chat just might be the best app for secret texting. It is free to download and it opens a new world of potentials. It is open source software, meaning that it is solid and has the backup of security connoisseurs from all over the world.
You get the chance to encrypt all of your chatting with friends, as well as your SMS. You can also set a self-destruction timer. This way, you do not need to worry about third parties and their invasion of your privacy. One thing that makes Secure Chat stand out is the technical support, on offer 24/7.
So, if you encounter any problem, just turn to them and they will help you out. In their near future plans, they are going to release apps for iOS and desktop. This means that more people will be able to enjoy the features of this app shortly.
Do you want to have the best app for private texting? If so, you should not forget to check Wickr. It is available for Android and iOS. It is also free to use on Windows, Mac and Linux. Superb versatility, in other words! You enjoy peer-to-peer encryption with this app and you secure all your communication.
Without collecting any data, Wickr allows you to remain private and anonymous throughout your experience. For your convenience, you can create groups (such as your best buddies or your family or your colleagues etc.) and handle them quickly. You can share videos, photos and even private voice messages online, free.
What is also great about this app is the fact that you can send messages with an expiration date. This will allow you to enhance your overall online protection. By removing metadata from messages, you can have better control of their details.
One of the most popular messaging apps in the world is WhatsApp. This does not make it less secure, though. In fact, it is a reliable solution for those who seek privacy online. It is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, as well as Windows and Mac PC.
It is a cross-platform messaging app, which enables you to communicate with others anytime, anywhere. Over a billion people already use WhatsApp and it is superb to read that they now use end-to-end encryption (following Signal).
Create group chats and have fun with friends or family, hang out online and never have to worry about what you share. Send photos or videos, without losing sleep for privacy matters. Share your location (when and where you want to, of course). No wonder why Facebook has invested so much in this app!
Although you may feel a bit disappointed about the interface of this app, the quality of its services does make it up to you. It is free and open source, available for download for Androids and iOS running devices. The app uses 256 bit AES-GCM encryption, with keys from 521 bit ECDH.
As a consequence, you can be sure of the privacy of your messages. There is the option for you to have different identities, with the same app. In this way, you avoid the confusion of combining business with recreation etc. Apart from plain texting, you can send video messages.
Among its best features, you can quickly delete the messages whenever you feel like it. The app does not require your phone number or your email address to run, which is great. Last but not least, it does not collect any data and hence it does not breach your privacy in any way.
Available on Google Play and App Store, this app offers end-to-end encryption in texts, voice messages and videos. This covers all your communicating approaches. It is a great solution, especially for businesses looking to improve their online security.
This may be off-putting for individuals, but it does not decrease the quality of encryption of Ceerus. Encryption and compression in combination make the best option for security. Beware of the limitations in the countries, where you can use Ceerus.
Only people in the US and UK can use the app now, but expansion is on its way soon. There is a cloud service, which is really neat and practical and you can subscribe to that. Overall, if you can handle the fee for using Ceerus, it is among the best secure messaging apps.
This is a great app, which allows end-to-end encryption and strengthens your security while communicating with others. There are several versions for you to choose from, including the free one and the pro version. With Pryvate, you do not need to worry about collection of sensitive data.
It covers the needs of both individuals and businesses (the latter category will be better off with Pryvate Enterprise). The encryption includes all IM, videos and voice calls and the app runs on 4096-bit encryption, with AES 256-bit key.
Along with messages, the app serves as a secure file transfer platform and storage option for all your files. You can use the Pro version for a month, without having to pay for it. Then, you can switch to the free version or continue on with the premium plan that best serves your needs.
Finishing the list, ChatSecure is an encrypted messenger for Android and iOS. It is free and open source, using solid cryptography with Tor, XMPP, OTR and SQLCipher. You can use your own server if you feel that it is going to help you out more.
For connecting to the app, there is the option of getting to your Facebook or Google account. You can send texts, videos, audio, files of all sorts and much more. On their official website, they highlight the fact that they are interoperable with other platforms, unlike the competition.
ChatSecure is a reliable solution, for sure. The thing is that maximum security and advanced encryption of this kind can sound intimidating to some. But the services are rock-hard!
If you are looking for secure ways to communicate at work and want to go completely old school then consider all ways of formal communication.
So, you have seen the list with the 10 best secure messaging apps for maintaining your privacy in conversations. Check them out, compare and contrast them for the most suitable app that meets your needs!
See Also: Best Messaging Apps for Android
Top/Featured Image: By Håkan Dahlström / Flickr