About 16 million text messages are sent each minute worldwide. This is just an estimate because it’s hard to get a real number due to the various limitations that a study of this scale has.
Text apps are an amazing way of keeping in touch with friends and family without distance limitations. It is also a great way of maintaining communication with co-workers and making a share of information fast and easy in the work environment.
For that single reason, the amount of shared information and the nature of its content has led to concerns regarding security. The need for having a secure text environment in which the information is not accessible to any third party has become a priority for several companies and users alike.
Since the word “best” is relative we can’t really give you a list of the best messaging apps. Instead, we created a list of the most popular messaging apps that also provide secure encryption.
Encrypted messaging solves a lot of problems by making it impossible for third parties to intercept and store your messages. And if they manage to do that, the information is not readily available and will only look like a string of code that makes no sense.
Here are the 7 most secure popular texting apps:
WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging app in the world. It has almost 2 billion monthly users and it is available for both Android and iOS.
What makes this app so popular is that despite being completely free to download, it has no annoying ads, it’s easy to use and of course, you get strong security.
Besides the obvious capability of sending and receiving text messages some of the amazing features included are location sharing, GIFs and other media, group chats, sharing documents, stickers and much more.
In 2014 WhatsApp integrated an end-to-end encrypted protocol that ensures nobody out of a conversation can read the messages, not even them. This end-to-end encryption is the same one used in Signal and it was integrated after the app partnered with Open Whisper Systems.
Equipped with end-to-end encryption, iMessage is probably the best chatting app for iPhone users. With an estimated 1.3 billion users predominantly in the US it does a great job safeguarding your texts.
It is quite a popular app for iOS users because it seamlessly integrates with the entire ecosystem. It works with iPhones, iPads, and macOS. The only downside is that it only works within that ecosystem. It is not possible for users of other operating systems to install it.
iMessage has a very simple user interface and works as an alternative to SMS/MMS messaging. It also offers tons of features including Memoji stickers and the ability to share photos, videos, YouTube links, and Spotify links without even leaving the app. It also shows different conversation colors if you are chatting with other iPhone users or Android users.
Telegram became extremely popular because it provides one of the strongest security available in chatting apps. It achieves this by connecting through a network of data centers in which your messages are securely encrypted.
Besides the encryption, you also get other security features such as the option to self-destruct messages after a given time or after being read by the receiver. You can enable “secret chats” and even self-destruct your account if you want.
The interface is quite easy to use. Even if it’s an app you’re not used to it does not require a long time to start feeling comfortable using it. Another plus is that it is completely free and does not show ads.
Telegram offers all the essential features that you would expect from such an app. Sending media files, videos, documents and other files of any type
Viber has been around for quite a while now. It first became available for Android users back in 2012 but it was initially available for iPhone users.
With more than 260 million monthly users it is a popular texting app that offers security as well as great features. It provides users with end-to-end encryption available on all the platforms.
The user interface looks similar to Skype but it also uses a color-coded-system that tells you how secure your connection is. Simply put, Green is good, Red is bad and Grey is good but with an unknown contact. This is pretty useful because you can monitor and determine whether you should share certain information through a chat window.
5. Signal Private Messenger
Talking about robust security Signal Private Messenger is one of the few apps endorsed by the famous whistleblower Edward Snowden. It provides its users with the peace of mind that you can get from its advances end-to-end encryption.
Signal Private Messenger has definitely earned a place among the most secure messaging apps. Both for Android users and iOS users.
Just like other text messaging apps Signal is completely free to use and it brings the biggest benefit of open source. It allows anyone to inspect the app’s code for security flaws or weaknesses.
The other security features include highly encrypted voice calls, messages that can self-destruct after a specified time, group chats and media transfer. Also, users have the convenient choice of using the app with a Google Chrome extension on a computer.
6. Wickr Me
Wickr Me is another great messaging app that offers a secure environment for its users. There’s a free option available as well as the Wicker Pro which is more suitable for organizations and businesses. The Pro version adds a ton of different features when compared to the free version but either way its security remains strong.
Available for Android and iOS users as well. Wicker, Me encrypts the messages using advanced end-to-end encryption that allows you to send private messages and media to other users.
You can also use its other security features to definitively erase your chats and messages or send messages that self-destruct after a while. Your data is not used in any way and the registering process is quite private
Dust is focused on building a platform with strong and enhanced privacy features. Or as they describe it “The app that protects your Assets”. It was built with complete security in mind.
This secure app is more than just a texting app. It offers encrypted messaging, Stealth Search to privately navigate the web and Watchdog to notify you if you have fallen victim to a security data breach in the past, or when it happens.
Also, it prevents people from taking screenshots to your messages, deletes a message from a conversation (not only on your side) and set the timer for self-destructing messages. On top of that, it can serve a social media platform in which you can follow people.
Every day, security and privacy become more important and seemingly more scarce. Although encryption alone is not the only way to protect your privacy it is one of the most important and effective.
There is a long list of secure environments and encrypted texting apps that can help you protect the information you share. All of them are pretty effective when combined with some best practices, so the one you choose to go with will greatly depend on your needs and how convenient it is for you to use it.