Is the New Signal Messenger App Secure? As you may have heard, there’s a new Messenger app in town. That app, called Signal, claims to offer end-to-end encryption that makes it practically impossible for hackers or government agencies to read your messages or listen in on your conversations without having your private key themselves.
However, the app isn’t fully baked yet, and it’s still just as vulnerable to attack as other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Read this signal review 2022 to learn more about whether Signal can live up to its hype.
If you’re a new user and have never used Signal before, you’ll have to download an app on your mobile device. It’s not easy to find on iOS or Android, but once you do, make sure that it says Verified by Open Whisper Systems in large letters across its home screen. If it doesn’t say that, then don’t use it.
When you’re ready to set up your account, make sure you enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra layer of security that makes it impossible for a hacker to access your account even if they know your password. Go to Account > Settings and enable Two-Factor Authentication. Open Whisper Systems also recommends using their in-app VPN option when using internet connections that you don’t trust.
While convenient, text-based authentication can be inconvenient and easy to crack. Furthermore, a single SMS message will only verify one login attempt. To alleviate these issues, platforms like Google and Facebook use multi-factor authentication (MFA) through authenticator apps to provide an extra layer of security when logging in. These apps store your passwords or secret phrases on your phone and use one-time passcodes (OTP) to get you into your account—making it much harder for hackers to break into your account.
To illustrate, let’s look at how a hacker might use social engineering to get into your account. If they know your phone number, they can gain access to your text messages and attempt to guess your one-time password. The more times they guess correctly in a row, however, Google will require additional authentication before they can enter their login details again.
One of my friends told me about a fascinating new app called Signal. It’s like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp had a baby, except instead of using your phone number to verify your identity, you use an email address. The creators are promising that Signal will be extremely secure because they’ve designed it from scratch, end-to-end, with state-of-the-art security.
If you want to avoid having your private messages read by someone else (like a future employer, or maybe just a nosy significant other), you should go into Signal’s settings and turn off read receipts. This will hide whether or not someone has opened your message. While that won’t stop a determined hacker, it will stop an employer who snoops on your phone when they find out you sent something that could get them in trouble.
If you turn off read receipts, it will be impossible for someone to tell when you’ve opened a message. This means that if you and your significant other are fighting, they won’t know that you’re aware of their intentions and plan to give them hell about it.
When using Signal, a device’s hardware and software are secured to keep all messages completely private. There’s no way for anyone else to access your account without physical access to your phone or without hacking into Signal servers themselves—not even law enforcement or governments can spy on you with it. The only caveat is that chat messages are stored in their encrypted format, so you can’t export them onto another device easily.
Encryption & Security Protocols Explained
In a nutshell, encryption is a system used to secure data that transmit over networks. It’s not foolproof (if it was, it wouldn’t be called encryption), but it is effective in protecting your data from prying eyes. There are numerous forms of encryption, but two common types you’ll encounter are symmetric and asymmetric. Asymmetric encryptions work by using what’s called public/private key pairs.
The new messaging app from Open Whisper Systems is free, user-friendly, and super secure. We all want to communicate freely, openly, and privately. You can trust your applications in today’s world of software vulnerabilities and cybersecurity breaches.