For some reason, people have gotten pretty curious about mobile security lately. So let’s mention a secure messaging app called Signal.
Signal gives you encrypted messages, also as voice and video calls. It relies on data, so it’s an excellent option for free of charge calls and texts over wi-fi. This can be an enormous advantage for those folks who don’t want to buy SMS text messages and phone calls, or who want to form free international calls.
It’s not only convenient, but security experts recommend Signal for a couple of different reasons. Signal is end-to-end encrypted, meaning that nobody but your device and conversational partner’s device can read the messages you send. The team behind the software may be a privacy centered nonprofit funded by grants and donations. Perhaps most significantly , Signal is open source, meaning that the code is publicly viewable. It are often examined for potential security holes, and has stood up to auditing. All of those features make Signal one among the simplest options for enhancing your communication security.
Getting started with Signal
First, find Signal for iPhone or Android here, or look for it within the App Store or Google Play store. It only works with other Signal users, so get your friends to use it too.
When you first launch the app, it’ll ask you to verify your telephone number .
iPhone users: Type in your number and hit “Activate This Device.” You’ll receive a six-digit code via SMS text message, then type in the code and hit “Submit Verification Code.”
Android users: Type in your telephone number , hit “Register” await the app to verify your telephone number . When it finishes, it will ask if you want to make Signal your default messaging app, which will allow you to receive both SMS messages and Signal messages on the app. That’s up to you, but it’s important to recollect that Signal won’t encrypt conversations with anyone using regular old SMS text messages.
Click the messaging icon (with the pencil). From here, you’ll message your contacts who have installed the app. Click on someone who you would like to speak to. That’s it — just type within the message and send. From inside the conversation, you’ll also click the phone icon within the top right corner to start out an encrypted call.
Image for post
Get fancy with messaging
Use group messaging
iPhone users: From the most screen, click the message icon at the highest right. Click the group messaging icon within the top right.
Android users: Click the settings icon at the highest right and hit “New group.”
From here, you’ll name your group and add multiple people. You can also change the group icon by clicking on the image to the left. Later, you’ll always make changes to the group by clicking the conversation settings for the group at the highest right.
Signal on desktop
You can use Signal on your desktop as well! Before jumping in, believe whether Signal for desktop works for your situation. If you’re having sensitive conversations and think you’ll have malicious software on your pc , you almost certainly don’t want to feed your encrypted messages into that infected machine. For example, if you’re infected with malicious software designed to log your keystrokes or send screenshots to a foreign attacker, encryption won’t protect your messages. If it is sensible for you, try Signal for your desktop.
You can send files by clicking the attachment (paperclip) icon at rock bottom of a conversation. This is very important: you’ll send GIFs here
Get fancy with security
Make messages disappear
If you would like to delete a selected message, press and hold the message. When the menu pops up, click “Delete.” Because Signal stores all of your messages locally and not on a foreign server, you’re only deleting the message on your personal device. Your conversational partner may still have it.
If you and your interlocutor want to urge obviate messages after a particular amount of your time by default, there’s how to try to to that.
iPhone users: Click on your conversational partner’s name at the highest of the screen to open the conversations settings menu.
Android users: Click the settings icon (three dots) within the top right corner. Click “Disappearing Messages.”
Use the slider to vary the quantity of your time you’d wish to wait before messages disappear after they’ve been viewed — anywhere from 5 seconds to every week . Again, messages will disappear for both you and your interlocutor . If you modify your mind later, you’ll always change your settings from this menu, or remove disappearing messages.
iPhone users: To delete all messages across all of your contacts, click the settings icon in the top left and navigate to Privacy > Clear History Logs.
Lock screen notification security
Even when your phone is locked, someone with physical access can still read the message and sender name on your lock screen. But we can fix that.
iPhone users: You can find these settings under Settings > Notifications > “Show.” On this page, you can have Signal display sender name and message, sender name only, or no name or message.
Android users: Device > Sound & notification > When device is locked. On this page, you’ll have Signal show all notifications, “Hide sensitive information content” or don’t show notifications in the least . If you continue to want alerts but don’t want names or messages visible on your lock screen, hit “Hide sensitive information content.”
Now your messages aren’t readable on your lock screen.