Our modern world revolves around digital communications. It’s critical to know that when you are texting a colleague, chatting with a friend, or collaborating with a team, all your communications are private and secure.
To ensure that your conversations stay private and secure, you need encryption. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is the technology that allows you and your associate to converse freely without anyone intercepting or spying on your messages, phone calls, or chats. Basically, the message is encoded when it leaves your hands, then on the other end, another piece of technology decodes it so the recipient can read it. Encryption also means that the app or messaging service provider cannot store or read your messages, preserving your privacy completely.
With data breaches, spyware, and ransomware around every corner, you need to do all you can to keep your information secret. Even the government is known to spy on mobile devices, email, and security cameras. That’s why end-to-end encryption is critical when choosing the best app for you.
Best Secure and Encrypted Messaging Apps to Use
With so many apps available, it can be confusing to know which one to choose.
We have taken the guesswork out of it for you. Below is a list of the best and most secure messaging apps to keep all your conversation completely private.
Signal is a relative newcomer to the game but is quickly gaining traction. It works on Android and iOS, and it’s completely free to use. Signal has climbed the ranks becoming many tech reviewers’ number one choice for privacy and security.
Signal provides end-to-end encryption on all voice and video calls as well as text messages. The app is open-source and has been audited by outside technology experts and verified to be 100% secure and private. Signal also includes handy security features to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks and includes self-destructing messages.
iMessage is the built-in messaging app that works on all Apple devices. It’s extremely well designed, easy-to-use, and secure as heck, providing end-to-end encryption all the way through. Users can also control how long messages last and how many views are allowed. The system also allows you to sync messages across every device, which is a handy feature.
The only downside is it only works on the Apple ecosystem so, Android and Windows users are out of luck.
Wire is another very secure and popular messaging app. Out of the box, end-to-end encryption is turned on, so you don’t have to configure anything special when using it. With each new conversation, a unique encryption key is generated, preventing certain types of attacks. The company does not sell or store any private data. Wire allows users to collaborate using conferences, group chat, and file sharing. It is open-source and free for personal use.
The Threema app uses the NaCl cryptography library to provide secure communications between parties. Every time you use the app, it generates a unique ID to keep you safe. You can associate your account with an email address or phone number, but you can also use it anonymously. Threema also generates a QR code so you can share it with other users. Threema offers encrypted text messages, voice calls, file sharing, group messaging, and polls. However, this German-based app costs $2.99 to use.
Viber rivals Skype with about 260 million users. The app works on all platforms, offers end-to-end encryption, and even color codes your chats to show how secure they are. You can choose “secret chats” and self-destructing messages when using the app. The only downside is that group chats lack the same level of privacy and end-to-end encryption. The most secure features are reserved for one-on-one communications.
Wickr is an open-source app that provides end-to-end encryption as default and is one of the first apps to do so. The app regularly hires independent auditors to test security. The free version allows up to 10 users at a time, and then they offer a few paid versions with unlimited users. The paid version can cost as much as $25/month. One helpful feature is screenshot detection and prevention to protect your privacy. Some other helpful features include content shredding and self-destructing messages. However, the app does not sync messages across devices.
Review the apps above and compare features before choosing the best app that protects your privacy and secures your personally identifiable information from identity thieves and scammers.