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The Most Secure Messaging Apps in 2024

February 10, 2023
Nikita Dymenko

Nikita Dymenko

Categories: Reviews

Why do we need a secure messenger?

best encrypted messengersThe advances in technology and the widespread use of smartphones have made messengers one of the most popular forms of communication. However, such convenience is associated with a set of certain risks, especially when discussing confidential issues or topics related to personal data. Secure messaging apps come to the rescue, providing users with the ability to communicate without compromising their privacy.

It is essential to understand that a careless attitude towards interacting on the Internet can lead to unpredictable and undesirable outcomes. Even face-to-face interaction in a personal chat can become public domain if one does not take care of their own safety. The opinion that third parties are not interested in your data is frivolous and incorrect.

In today’s ever-hastening world, the issue of cybersecurity is more pressing than ever, prompting responsible vendors to continuously improve the protection systems of their solutions. At the same time, hackers are coming up with increasingly sophisticated ways to access your confidential information. Thus, the fight against cybercrime affects everyone who uses communication applications.

Let us take a closer look at those who may be interested in your personal information:

Intruders and hackers. Personal information like names and financial information are amongst the top data that cybercriminals steal. As a rule, cybercriminals are the greatest threat to users who ignore the issue of data security. First of all, hackers seek to gain access to your bank accounts or confidential information necessary for most fraudulent schemes. Attackers can also use personal data for blackmail and extortion, turning users’ lives into a living hell.

Large corporations. Suppliers of goods or services can process group chats and private messages to display effective, targeted advertising. Large companies want to know as much as possible about potential buyers, as their main task is to sell goods. In pursuit of profit, they do not shy away from any methods, even those that may potentially threaten the safety of people.

Government. Your private messages provide an opportunity for authorities to track when and what you are thinking. This approach of the government is partly justified by the prevention of crimes and the desire to reduce the number of intruders. On the other hand, your thoughts and feelings are deprived of privacy, which can b e an unsettling realization

Keep in mind that such information leaks occur precisely because you do not use secure applications for communication. Despite robust software architecture documentation, many messengers have a relatively simple security system, making it relatively easy for hackers to crack it. Be vigilant and pay attention to the solutions you use to stay connected!

What makes the messenger secure?

security measures for messengersThe technological capabilities of today allow us to use multiple methods to protect our chats, and they are usually combined to ensure maximum privacy. Many iOS app builder and other mobile application development tools come with robust security features that can be implemented to protect chat data and ensure maximum privacy. The most common and proven security measures are end-to-end encryption, cryptographic protocols, and the degree of centralization. Let’s take a closer look at each of them in order to understand what we are dealing with:

In end-to-end encryption, the transmission endpoints are directly the sender and recipient’s devices. The message is encrypted locally on the sender’s device and can only be decrypted on the recipient’s device. Thanks to this feature, end-to-end encryption prevents servers from potentially reading user data.

A cryptographic protocol is an abstract or concrete protocol that consists of a set of cryptographic algorithms. The protocol is based on a set of rules that govern the use of cryptographic transformations and algorithms in information processing.

With regards to centralization, there are three levels for messaging services: centralized (requiring a dedicated server), federated (a network of servers), and decentralized (where each client is its own server). From a security standpoint, centralization is not the best option. In addition to issues concerning the potential disclosure of user data, there may be issues with the authorities blocking access to the service.

What are the most secure messaging apps?

The technology market is now full of messengers that promise security and privacy to each user, but often it turns out to be just a marketing ploy to attract more people. The number of responsible vendors who care about the security of communication is not so great. Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, more and more attackers are trying to take advantage of unsuspecting users.

That is why we decided to create an article about secure messengers that ensure user privacy. Each platform has its own set of unique features that make it suitable for a particular group of people. You can choose the application that interests you, or try to compare multiple solutions.

To begin with, let’s look at the most secure platforms that you have likely already heard of:

TrueConf

TrueConf encrypted messengerTrueConf has long established itself as a video conferencing solution with a multi-level security system. The platform includes encryption of media streams and local storage of personal data, as it is deployed within the corporate network.

By deploying TrueConf Server in your company’s network, you gain complete control over your communications without the need for an Internet connection.

The solution also includes AI-powered features, such as blurring or replacing the background and creating a detailed transcript of the online meeting.

Exploring the capabilities of TrueConf, the solution supports video calls and conferences in 4K Ultra HD format, with a capacity of up to 1000 participants. At the same time, platform users have access to a wide range of collaboration tools, such as remote desktop access, shared files, and presentation creation. TrueConf works on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS platforms, so users can easily continue the communication started during the session on their personal computer by simply opening the phone app.

This solution is ideal for companies or teams that interact remotely and prioritize reliability. This is due to the fact that TrueConf is constantly improving its security system and carefully preserving user data.

Signal

signal encrypted messengerAnother one that has proven itself as one of the safest is the Signal application. The popular non-profit platform also allows you to exchange messages and make online calls. At the same time, Signal is open source and is available for personal computers, as well as iOS and Android. It is important to note that, due to its free terms of use, the platform does not collect commercial data from users to demonstrate contextual advertising.

Fans of social networks should like this solution, as it has many similar functions. For example, Signal has the ability to create stories that disappear after 24 hours, as well as share one-time photos and videos. As for privacy, all chats are stored on users’ devices, thus greatly reducing the likelihood of leakage. Messages can also be made safer by setting a self-destruct timer.

However, one of the potential disadvantages of Signal for many users is the requirement of a personal phone number for registration. The platform will have an understanding of one’s identity, so absolute anonymity will not be achieved. Many users of the solution also have stated that the Signal version for iOS still leaves much to be desired.

Delta Chat

Delta Chat encrypted messengerEmail users are probably familiar with Delta Chat. This application is very popular among those who are concerned about the privacy of their messages. The primary feature of Delta Chat is the utilization of an existing network of mail servers. At the same time, the messenger works on almost all popular platforms, including Linux.

From a user interaction perspective, the application is accessed via your email address. Thanks to Delta Chat, you can communicate with any user who has an email address, regardless of whether they are registered on the platform or not. All data is stored on your device, and messages are encrypted using Autokrypt 1. The application features include creating group chats, sending images and videos as attachments, and displaying the status of messages. Interestingly, all users’ chats are automatically deleted, but you can adjust their duration of existence. Delta Chat also automatically exchanges encryption keys after sending the first message. Much to the disappointment, if one of the participants’ email applications does not support encryption, then their words will be sent in their original form.

This messenger will certainly be of interest to those who are accustomed to using e-mail frequently. Its functionality makes communication much more convenient, ensuring the safety of the discussion.

Surespot

Surespot encrypted messengerSurespot is a well-known, free messenger for Android and iOS. To ensure security, the platform implements end-to-end encryption and automatically creates a unique key for each user. The advantage of this approach is that, even if the Surespot server is compromised, attackers will not be able to obtain important personal data.

Communication on the platform can be made even more confidential by configuring the sending of messages that self-destruct. Furthermore, if you don’t want your chat history to be saved by your conversation partner, this approach may be the only solution. The fact is that Surespot does not allow you to delete messages after sending, as it would not be possible to destroy the online discussion. It is also impossible to create group chats on the platform.

Unfortunately, the platform was closed on July 31, 2022, due to the company being mentioned in the plea agreement of a 17-year-old US citizen who provided support to ISIS. Nevertheless, everyone can use the code to create his own project.

Wickr Me

Wickr Me encrypted messengerWickr Me is a messenger for PC that allows you to communicate in personal and group chats with up to 10 participants, as well as make online calls and share files. All information on the platform is protected by several layers of encryption, including ECDH521, ensuring secure interaction. Users are also given the opportunity to send disappearing messages, create group secret chats and enable a screenshot detection system.

Registering for Wickr Me does not require any personal data, such as mobile phone numbers, and all accounts are anonymous. The creators of the solution also claim that they do not collect any information about users — the only exception is telemetry data, which can be disabled in the settings.

It is important to note that all messages are automatically deleted 6 days after they are sent, so Wickr Me is not suitable for those who wish to keep a chat history.

Element

Element encrypted messengerElement, also known as Riot.im, is an open-source platform that provides the ability to communicate privately. There are client solutions for both personal computers and smartphones. Users can send private messages, create group chats, share files, and make online calls. Registration on the platform does not require the entry of personal data, thus providing additional protection of anonymity.

Element, which is based on the Matrix protocol, provides end-to-end data encryption to ensure complete privacy and “protect” users from unwanted contextual advertising. In case of password loss, the system provides an opportunity to generate its own security key, which can be used to decrypt messages.

It is also impossible to deny that Element has decentralized storage, so users can choose exactly where their communication data will be stored.

Threema

Threema encrypted messengerThreema is a secure communication solution that supports end-to-end encryption and works on all popular platforms. The application allows users to exchange text and voice messages, as well as create secure group chats of up to 50 participants. Personal information is stored locally on the device, while the central server only holds the minimum necessary metadata.

To identify users, Threema generates random numbers that are created when the application is first launched. Such a unique ID not only allows you to remain anonymous, but also to avoid entering personal data. When using Threema, you may only need a phone number if you want to synchronize your contact list from the address book.

A unique feature of Threema that has attracted many users is its “verified identities”. Participants in the communication can verify each other’s identity using a QR code, thus ensuring the transparency of the conversation.

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 encrypted messengerBitrix24 is a well-known solution for working on projects and tasks, but few people consider it’s privacy. The fact is that, in addition to many useful tools for teamwork, such as a timer, the platform also has an impressive security system. Thus, Bitrix24 transmits user data via an SSL-encrypted connection with a 256-bit key, and the information itself can be stored not only in the cloud, but also locally.

Returning to joint projects, the possibilities of the solution are pleasantly impressive: the platform provides an opportunity to collaborate with the website designer, communicate via telephony, and use group chats. Bitrix24 also includes a convenient address book and allows you to enable automatic email notifications.

However, despite being supported by almost all platforms, the free version of the solution has very limited functionality, which is extremely disappointing for saving users.

Briar

Briar encrypted messengerBriar is a free Android-based messaging application that functions using “mesh” technology. The platform has a decentralized network scheme that works via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi if the Internet is disconnected. If the connection to the World Wide Web is stable, the application will work through Tor’s servers, ensuring the security of your personal data and protection against leaks.

To ensure complete privacy, the platform offers users a “hidden mode” that is activated with a PIN code. In addition to this function, Briar provides the ability to create group chats and maintain a personal blog, which significantly distinguishes it from many similar applications.

However, the platform does not allow you to send voice messages, make online calls, share files, or back up data. Another important drawback is that Briar does not currently work on iOS.

Utopia

Utopia encrypted messengerUtopia is a communication application that is positioned by developers as a confidential messenger of the future. The platform has a decentralized system that protects personal information from potential leakage to third parties.

Thanks to the application, you can not only bypass online censorship, but, as the developers claim, even attempts to track user activity on the Internet. The platform utilizes Elliptic Curve25519 and 256-bit AES encryption to protect data. The Utopia functionality is quite interesting: in addition to the built-in messenger, it allows users to make transactions using an anonymous wallet and cryptocurrency. The platform also offers to launch special bots to earn cryptons. Utopia anonymizes not only your data, but also your IP address, thus allowing you to maintain complete confidentiality. The username here is the private key generated by the system during registration.

Unfortunately, there is still very little content available in Utopia, and information is only exchanged when all participants are online, which can be very inconvenient.

Wire

Wire encrypted messengerWire is a private tool designed to replace emails with instant messages. Thanks to this solution, you can create encrypted chats for up to 120 participants, organize virtual video meetings for up to 10 participants, and share files and locations. The addition to the group takes place through a secure payment link, providing extra protection against leaks.
Wire stores user data locally and encrypts it using end-to-end encryption. At the same time, despite the fact that messages are sent through a single server, the solution deletes them after delivery to the interlocutor. The developers claim that they use WebRTC with Forward Secrecy (PFS) to ensure the privacy of online calls.

Registration on Wire cannot be considered anonymous, as a phone number is required. However, some users have already found a way to make the solution even more private — they use an extra email address.

Rocket.Chat

Rocket Chat encrypted messengerRocket.Chat is a popular private messaging application for various platforms. The solution provides users with the opportunity to interact not only in personal and group chats. Rocket.Chat’ features also include file sharing, video conferencing, and launching bots.

The security of the solution is provided through two-factor authentication, decentralized data storage, and the inclusion of encryption of your choice.To ensure confidentiality, the developers of Rocket.Chat have provided users with the ability to audit the security of their chats, allowing them to monitor and verify any possible leaks.

Unfortunately, this application seems quite complicated for some users due to the need to constantly use the admin panel, but this does not stop many people from actively communicating with it.

Dust

Dust - Private Messenger Apk Download for Android- Latest version 6.5.9- com.radicalapps.cyberdust

Dust is a secure, blockchain-based platform for private communication. The solution enables you to send messages with end-to-end encryption, make secure calls for free, and share texts and pictures with multiple contacts simultaneously. Additionally, Dust can utilize its secure synchronization function to find other users to chat with or to invite a participant from your address book to a chat.

One of the main advantages and disadvantages of this solution is that messages are automatically deleted after a period of time, up to 24 hours, without the possibility of recovery. If your conversation partner takes a screenshot of the chat, you will receive an instantaneous notification.

Dust stands guard over your privacy and does not store any of your messages or images. However, after installing the application, you will need to enter your phone number to complete the verification process.

Comparison Table

Messenger Open Source Message Encryption End-to-End Encryption Self-Destructing Messages Platform Support Video Calls Support Popularity
TrueConf No Yes Yes No Windows, macOS, iOS, Android Yes Moderate
Signal Yes Yes Yes Yes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes High
Delta Chat Yes Yes Yes No Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android No Average
Surespot Yes Yes Yes Yes iOS, Android No Low
Wickr Me No Yes Yes Yes Windows, macOS, iOS, Android Yes Average
Element Yes Yes Yes Yes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes High
Threema No Yes Yes Yes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes High
Bitrix24 No Yes Yes No Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes High
Briar Yes Yes Yes Yes Android No Low
Utopia No Yes Yes Yes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes Low
Wire Yes Yes Yes Yes Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes Average
Rocket.Chat Yes Yes No* No Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android Yes High
Dust Yes Yes Yes Yes iOS, Android No Low

How to choose the right privacy messaging solution

Choosing the right privacy messaging solution can be a challenging task, but there are some key factors to consider when making your decision. Here are some tips on how to choose the right privacy messaging solution:

Working in highly-regulated industries, like Healthcare or Finance, it’s imperative to use a messaging service that meets the compliance requirements such as HIPAA and FINRA. Otherwise, your business could be faced with serious legal issues.

To ensure a great user experience, the messaging solution must be easy to use and navigate with features such as group chat, file sharing, audio, and video calls. Furthermore, it needs to be accessible across multiple devices and platforms like desktops and mobiles.

To ensure an efficient workflow and optimum productivity, it is essential to select a messaging solution that integrates well with other tools.

Taking into consideration the different features, and requirements, you can pick the right privacy messaging solution that fits your needs and ensures your conversations are safe and secure.

Future trends and developments in privacy messaging

Privacy messaging is constantly evolving and bringing in new trends & developments. Shortly, we can expect to witness some amazing transformations in this field. Some of these could include fresh approaches and modern concepts that aim to make privacy more secure and effective.

AI is becoming more popular in privacy messaging and security protocols. It can classify messages, assess sentiment, and even translate them into other languages. What’s more, AI can help detect and stop spam or phishing attempts, enhancing the overall safety of messaging systems.

To ensure user privacy and promote secure communication in the digital space, it’s essential to implement various tools such as end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and data protection. These features offer a reliable and robust layer of security, allowing individuals to communicate with confidence, knowing their information is well-protected. By prioritizing privacy and implementing these cutting-edge tools, users can be sure that their data is safe from unauthorized access, breaches, or surveillance.

Organizations that provide messaging services should be open and honest about the information they collect and how it is used. Users need to know what data is being collected and how it will be used.

Enhancing the user experience is rapidly becoming the goal of messaging platforms, necessitating the integration of other apps and services. For instance, users would be able to reserve appointments or order food through their messaging application without having to leave it.

With the rise of better internet access, messaging platforms are introducing voice and video features to give a more interactive and captivating experience for the user. As this becomes more widespread, people can take full advantage of these services.

To strengthen the safety and privacy of messaging, blockchain technology could be leveraged to enable decentralized data storing and verification of messages.

The latest trends and developments suggest that safeguarding privacy remains a priority as messaging platforms adapt to user needs. While respecting user sensitive data you can prioritize trust and engagement in education marketing trends as well.

Conclusion

In today’s digital world, communication remains a very sensitive area that needs to be taken seriously and safeguarded. That’s why centralized and local messaging solutions with end-to-end encryption have a great potential in the market, providing comprehensive protection of user data from intruders. The messengers listed above provide the necessary level of personal information protection, so you can choose the best option for yourself and communicate with confidence. Remember that careful attention to the security of sensitive data is primarily the user’s responsibility. Please be cautious when communicating through apps!

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