Secure Communication Apps aside Whatsapp

Background

Dolapo just got a video recording regarding the case of a young girl deported by the European embassy over fake passports given to her by one of the agents in AGA.

We all use Whatsapp for variety of reasons like talking to our loved ones, getting updates and maybe contacting a source about a story we are writing. While this can make our work easier it also posses huge security risk as our communication can be monitored or can be used to implicate us.

 What Makes A Secure Messaging App?

The Secure Messaging Scorecard scores the different communication apps on seven dimensions:

  • Are your messages encrypted at all stages of the communication?
  • Is the encryption end-to-end so the messaging company can’t access your communications?
  • Can you verify who you are messaging?
  • If your encryption keys are stolen, are you your previous communications safe?
  • Can the app’s code be independently reviewed?
  • Is the design and implementation of the cryptography documented and available for review?
  • Has the code and implementation been independently audited in the last year?

While on their own these dimensions don’t guarantee that a messaging app is secure, they highlight the apps that are more likely to be so. Even more importantly, if an app fails any of the first four criteria it can be considered unsecure to some degree.

Telegram

Telegram
Telegram is renowned for offering strong encryption. Like the other applications on this list, Telegram claims that all data sent through its service cannot be intercepted or deciphered from a service provider. It offers messages that self-destruct after a certain period and a ‘secret chat’ option for paranoid users.

“All messages in secret chats use end-to-end encryption,”. “This means only you and the recipient can read those messages — nobody else can decipher them. Messages cannot be forwarded from secret chats. And when you delete messages on your side of the conversation, the app on the other side of the secret chat will be ordered to delete them as well.”

Telegram can comes in an android version, an iOS version and also to a Desktop version. There’s also Telegram extension for Chrome browser.

 

 

ChatSecure

Chat Secure

ChatSecure is a free iOS and Android app that “uses well-known open source cryptographic libraries” such as XMPP, OTR, and Tor to ensure your messages remain private. With ChatSecure you can communicate with other app users and also anyone who uses an app that supports the same protocols.

You can download the app from iTunes or the Google Play Store.

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Silent Phone

silent phone

Silent Phone, developed by Silent Circle is a paid subscription app that provides Private, encrypted communication via calls and messaging, and secure file transfer on any device, for personal or enterprise use.

The Silent Phone app is available for iOS and Android devices.
Some of the unique features it provides are:

  • Unlimited talk, text, video and conference call ‘between Silent Phone members’;
  • Completely secure messaging;
  • Send and receive large files up to 100MB per message ;
  • Video Calling;
  • Conference calling for up to 6 callers
  • Another awesome feature is the Scheduled Burn Functionality where you can choose when messages get deleted on both ends.Silent Phone can be download for Android and Apple devices from their respective app stores.

 

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Signal

signal

Personally endorsed by Edward Snowden, Signal is a free and open source software developed by the team of Open Whisper Systems in San Francisco. It’s available for iPhone and Android.

Signal integrates with your phone’s default dialler. If you call a friend who also has Signal installed, you’ll get the option to make an encrypted call rather than a regular cell call. It integrates fully with your Android phone. It replaces the default text messaging app. If you send a message to another Signal user the data is automatically encrypted.

You can download RedPhone and TextSecure from the Google Play Store. Signal is available in the iOS App Store.