WhatsApp messenger was launched in 2009. Over years, it developed many features like audio & video calling, multimedia sharing, a special version for small businesses, and so on. The app has been through many updates and changes but the recent one is very far reaching– so much so that people who have used the app for years are now deleting it.
Signal has become the popular choice of the privacy conscious people. In fact, Elon Musk took it to Twitter urging WhatsApp users to switch to Signal. So, of all, why is this app becoming so famous? Is it really so secure? What are its security features? This article answers these questions.
What is Signal App?
Signal was found recently in the December of 2020. This software application is available in three versions—android version, iOS version, and desktop version. Developed by Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger, Signal is basically a cross-platform encrypted messaging service. Just like other WhatsApp and other message apps, it runs using internet.
Moreover, Signal is a non-profit organization. People who are upset with WhatsApp’s current move also see it as a step towards profit maximization. This is another reason that people are increasing switching to Signal.
Some key features of Signal app
- Text messaging
- Voice calls
- Video calls
- End-to-end encryption
- Group text chats
- Group voice calls
- Group video calls
- Disappearing messages
- Cloud backup
And these are just some of the many features of Signal messenger app.
You’d say that Signal’s features are more or less like those of WhatsApp’s. Yes, it is like that, except the former is safer than latter.
In fact, Signal is said to be the most secure messaging app for android and iOS. So, let’s find out what makes Signal a unique messaging app in terms of privacy and security.
Why Signal is the most secure messaging app for Android and iOS?
# It isn’t profit oriented.
Unlike WhatsApp, Signal is not profit oriented. It is a not for profit organization. Instead of earning profit, the company’s primary source of income is donation. Therefore, it does not have to sell its user data to other businesses and third party service providers to keep the business running. The absence of a money making model is the reason why Signal focuses so much on privacy. An organization that doesn’t focus on earning can exist solely to benefit its users. This makes Signal messaging app a great option for those concerned about their privacy.
# It does not record user data
This is the main feature why Signal is becoming extremely popular as the most secure messaging app. People are moving from WhatsApp because it has openly said that it’d share its user information with other businesses and third party vendors. On the other hand, Signal promises that it doesn’t store its user’s data and doesn’t share it with other parties. Since apparently, it runs on donation.
# End-to-end chat encryption
End-to-end chat encryption is not unique to Signal. Even WhatsApp provide the same feature. The function of chat encryption is to make sure that no one (not even the service provider) can access your messages. Singal comes with this basic yet highly important feature.
# You can lock the app
This is another feature that makes Signal a secure messaging app. If you are concerned that someone would access your Signal account and messages through your device, you can simply lock it with Signal’s in-built lock system. You can set a passcode or save your fingerprint to keep it secure. Generally, messenger apps don’t have such inbuilt feature and users have to use a third-party app to guard it.
# Keep your phone number private
Many people like to keep their phone number private. However, it becomes difficult to do so when you use messenger apps like WhatsApp where you have to sign up with your number. While Signal also requires you to register with your phone number, you can sign up using a Google voice number. This way, you will be able to enjoy the services of messaging app along with keeping your phone number private.
# Prevent history from syncing with the cloud on iOS
For the iOS version of Signal, there’s a feature which allows you to prevent history from syncing with the cloud. All you have to do is—go to setting in the app, and turn off “Show Calls in Recents”.
# Disappearing messages
If you have used Instagram or SnapChat, you must be familiar with this feature. Signal users can send messages that can disappear automatically after a certain period of time or after the receiver has viewed it. This is one unique privacy feature that any messaging app has ever provided.
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