Are you considering moving from WhatsApp to other messaging apps alternatives? You are probably one amongst millions of users migrating to other apps searching for privacy and data security.
When Facebook acquired WhatsApp a few years ago, data security specialists expressed their fears about Facebook’s ability to maintain data privacy on the WhatsApp platform. Facebook has been mentioned on numerous occasions in cases involving data breaches, and this was the cause of the panic after the merger.
When you agree to the new policy, the information it will be able to access includes:
- User account registration information, including your phone number registered on the app.
- Your contacts and your interaction with businesses or products when on the app.
- Transactions data if you use the platform to purchase or pay for services
- The mobile device you use to access the app
- Your IP address
- How much time you spend on the app.
This means that your WhatsApp account will be open to the public, and the companies involved can do as they please with this data. While the company maintains that your messages and calls will remain encrypted, there is still cause for alarm because it is impossible to know exactly how this data will be used. Also, messages shared with businesses on the platform will not be covered by end-to-end encryption.
With these new policies, millions of WhatsApp users have started to move to other messaging apps for privacy and security.
3 Messaging Apps That Guarantee Your Privacy
Signal messaging application tops the list of messaging apps that care about the user’s privacy and data safety. All communication and data sharing on the platform are end-to-end encrypted and not accessible even to the application developers.
What makes Signal different is that it is an open-source application. The programming code is available online for public scrutiny. This makes it difficult for the company to sneak in spyware or data harvesting programs in the application.
This is yet another safe and secure option for WhatsApp. Even though it has been in the market for years, it does not get the praise it deserves. Telegram is a star when it comes to its stance on privacy and the numerous features it offers.
On telegram, you can create groups with up to 200,000 participants, users can share files of up to 2GB free, and it comes with thousands of public and private channels to join. The icing on the cake is the self-destructing message option that has been on the app since it was introduced to the market.
You can use telegram bots to integrate different services into the app and use them to automate communication. Telegram is end-to-end encrypted and has a secret mode feature where the messages shared are not stored on the telegram servers. Therefore, the messages are forever lost once you delete them from your device.
Threema is an app that takes security seriously, so much so that the app is not free. To use the app, one needs to make a one-time fee of $2.99. This ensures end-to-end encryption for all your activity on the application.
Threema does not use your phone number to create an account, making it an easy option for people who prefer to remain anonymous. Instead, it generates a random ID that can be used to find you on the app.
This ad-free application does not harvest any user data. You can enjoy messaging, video and voice calls, groups, file sharing, and comes with a desktop client for added features. It is compatible with iPhone, Android, and macOS.
3 Messaging Apps You Should Avoid
During your search for an app to migrate to, you will come across plenty of options. Here are the apps to avoid when finding an alternative to WhatsApp.
This free instant messaging application has been criticized for its lack of proper user protection guidelines. You can use the app to send and receive videos, messages, and sketches, among other content, like other messaging apps. The only good thing about the app is that it preserves the user’s anonymity online since it does not use a phone number to register.
The app saves user IP addresses to determine user location and does not come with end-to-end encryption. This makes it difficult to trust that your data is safe. The security design used on the app is not well documented, and there are no recent security audits.
This is a Korea-based messaging application that does not automatically encrypt messages and file sharing features. To benefit from end-to-end encryption, users need to opt-in by using the secret chat feature on the app.
The default chat mode on KakaoTalk is not encrypted, making your chats accessible by prying eyes and hackers. If you are concerned about your privacy and data safety, this may not be the best application for you.
According to statistics, WeChat has more than 1 billion active users, mostly in China and other parts of the world. The apps use a mobile number and verification code for account creation, and the app can connect to email accounts and Facebook profiles.
The downside to using this app is the security. Like most other services in China, WeChat is under heavy government surveillance and does not come with end-to-end encryption. The application also has numerous backdoors that allow third parties to spy on users and harvest data.
When it comes to online privacy and data security, there is a lot to lose if one fails to take the necessary precautions. Finding the safest messaging applications is one of the best ways to ensure you remain secure, anonymous, and protected when connecting with the world.
Jack is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies. A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools