As you probably already know, every messaging application and platform asks users to agree to share personal information with the company of their choice.
Even though countless global users disagree with certain practices, messaging companies still reserve the right to access their users’ personal data and messages. Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and every other messaging app out there is a potential collector, with some being more intrusive than others.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to limit them from accessing your full information and messaging data and protect your privacy. In the digital era, technology is constantly advancing. With that in mind, here are some useful tips for texting without compromising your privacy.
There is a difference between privacy and security
Knowing the difference between privacy and security can also help to protect your personal information and messaging data. Even though internet users use both terms interchangeably, these words refer to two different things.
Privacy refers to keeping your personal information to yourself by reserving the rights to do so and controlling how your information is harvested, used, stored, and distributed. On the other hand, security is related to having certain technology solutions set in place to protect your private and sensitive data from unauthorized access.
All encrypted messaging apps will protect your security but not guarantee privacy. You can send your messages via a secure, encrypted platform, but that’s it. Each time you send a message, the company reserves the right to handle it according to the specific needs now.
Know your options
In the age of the internet, it is impossible to maintain complete privacy online. No solution can guarantee the complete security of your messages. However, you can increase your privacy by avoiding sending standard SMS text messages over standard cellular, open networks.
Both cellular providers and cybercriminals can intercept your data and see the contents of your messages. To avoid that, you can use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and Signal. They protect your messaging content by encrypting it and enhancing security to prevent third parties from accessing your data.
Take precautions to protect yourself
Even though it may seem like all internet mechanics are against you, there are some things you can do to take precautions and safeguard your private information. First, try to avoid oversharing your personal information online. Avoid saying anything that could endanger your safety.
Do some research on reputation management and go over your past conversations to see if anything there could compromise you. Then, look for messaging with end-to-end encryption and transparent privacy and security policies. Research a messaging service before you agree to share your information with it.
Most of the messaging services use cloud backups to save your messages to the cloud automatically. Make sure you turn this option off to delete your message history. Finally, keep your mobile and texting devices safe and secure by using all available privacy and security features and options at your disposal. You can use passwords, passcodes, facial or fingerprint identification, and other security measures to secure your devices additionally.
How to keep your mobile device secure
Here are some additional tips to enhance your mobile security.
Lock your smartphone
If your device gets stolen, you can protect your information by keeping your phone locked by using face or fingerprint recognition, a password, or a passcode pattern.
Use strong passwords
Strong passwords are paramount for the protection of your personal information. Set a different password for each messaging app you’re using.
Keep your security up to date
Mobile devices receive frequent operating system updates that can help improve your security by patching any potential vulnerabilities.
Use a VPN when connecting to Wi-Fi
While we understand that the ability to access the internet anywhere, anytime, is simply irresistible, we’d like to point out that you should stay away from public Wi-Fi connections.
Free Wi-Fi can expose you to several cybersecurity threats. If you still need to use a public Wi-Fi connection, enable a VPN before you make join the network. Reliable VPN providers like Atlas VPN can help you message friends or family members safely on any network. Additionally, it can minimize the metadata messaging apps get to collect.
For instance, providers might retain access to such details, even if they end-to-end encrypt messages. Thus, a Virtual Private Network helps hide your IP address, which can be a part of the transferred metadata.
Using modern messaging apps will always expose you to a certain amount of risk, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon messaging. Simply know your security and privacy options when using such services to avoid any awkward situations.
Look at the best messaging apps available in your location, take your time to explore their privacy and security policies to assess your options, and discover the best messaging service that will cater to your privacy and security needs.