Thoughts/Use on Secure Messaging Apps

Anyone here use a secure messaging app (encrypted) like Signal or Telegram? I have been thinking about going down this route; heck there are only a couple of people I even message anyway.

I have seen that there is Telegram and Signal. Hope to stay away from anything owned by FB (WhatsApp). Thoughts about these apps, or any others I should look into?

Thanks.

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@MarkinMT, I assume anything I say digitally anywhere on any app is public knowledge. Are there some conversations that I am hoping are kept private, yes. But I have no doubt somehow, someway someone could make everything I’ve said online public.

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Signal is the best.
Remember that messages are encrypted between Signal app.
If you use it for text messaging to fe. Messanger or other app, it won’t be encrypted.
I’ve been using Signal for a long time and I love it.

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@Dawn Yes 100% agree with you there. Basically looking for a more secure communication medium than plain text message that anyone can read/scrape. I don’t currently use any other messaging app outside of regular phone texting. I want to change that.

@Jerzy Yes, I see that it will interface with other stuff, but outside of itself, it won’t be encrypted. When I got it going just now it took over my current text message app, and did show that my texts I was sending were insecure. Now to get the other side to use it… sigh. Telegram was a bit less intrusive when I got it going. The part that scared me was it went through my contacts and showed who was also using it. Just because I have someone as a contact, does not mean I want them to know anything of what I am or not using.

Gosh, all I wanted was encrypted messaging that I can send text and photos… what a hole I have dug!

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Guessing George Orwell 1984 is an understatement!

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A safe rule to live by is that common encryption methods and tools are good for keeping out “most” parties you dont want listening. Like WhatsApp (owned by FB), Signal, Telegram, and secure emails like ProtonMail, etc.

But none of them will keep out a determined party from seeing things.

Think of it like this. You spend a lot of effort sturdying up your front door with anti-kick plates, reinforced door, security door in front it, cameras, etc. But then a criminal sneaks in through your casement window. Or comes up to the front door in a UPS outfit and a package in hand and you open the door yourself. Or the plumber you let in the house leaves the back door propped open. Thats how it is with software security.

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As much as we love our smartphones and other digital leashes, we leak personal information daily. Our personal metadata is corporate gold. GMAIL was reading my correspondence 10 years ago trying to figure out how to sell me products. Take a deep dive into a EULA. You are signing a contract when you agree to those terms. Free means you pay dearly. There is no digital privacy anymore. We gave that up for convenience about 15 years ago. Does SMS and SMTP ever really die, encrypted or not? Wait until we go 5G with China providing core services. They own most of the 5G patents in the USA.

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The problem is at some point you are trusting something out of your control.

There are open-source alternatives to many bits of software we use. VPN, messaging, mail, dropbox alternatives, etc. A common joke among techies is “the cloud is just someone else’s computer”, so you could run your own cloud in the basement of your house. But even then… the internet connection coming in isn’t yours, you didnt build that CPU, you definitely didnt build the phone your’re using to connect with.

Signal seems like the best option out there, but it doesn run through their servers (out of your control) and the fact that its free is always disconcerting.

Firechat is also a neat tool because it is peer-to-peer so doesn’t use cell/wifi directly. The downside obviously is you must be close enough to each other or another member on the same network. Great for things like a 2A rally…

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@Harvey I ran a Vsphere Cloud out of my basement on servers I built from scratch using MS Small Business Server just for family use. Had a commercial static IP to the house. Inner router and firewall I managed exclusively. What a CF (no not Carbon Fiber). No one wanted to use it. I had industry standard passwords set as policy and it was just too difficult for anyone to remember their passwords so they gave up. Try getting a group of folks on the same VPN :woozy_face: Yeah and even virtual desktops for folks to use remotely built in. Bandwidth was very good…

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Thanks for all the information. I have been able to get some use out of Telegram as has been accepted. I do like those lists @Harvey.

Yes @Jeff-A1, you can build it but that does not mean they will use it. Particularly when it comes to passwords. I am going for smaller steps… :smiley:

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