Signal

Ok, chances are you’re here because I sent you this link, and for that I want to say “thank you”.

If you subscribe to my blog you likely saw my post about Why We Should All Ditch Other Messaging Apps for Signal and I thought I would expound on the “why” here since I didn’t really there.

So anyway, my version of “why we should all ditch other messaging apps for Signal“…

Now, if you’re like me you likely have multiple messaging apps on your phone like your text messaging client, FB Messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, WeChat, Hangouts, Line, or any other number of them. But as more and more comes out about how your data is used to turn you into the product, or how inept certain companies are at security I thought a bit about what characteristics the messaging app I want to use would have, like:

  • End to end encryption
  • Ability to expire messages
  • The “owning” company not being able to see my messages
  • Cross platform (iOS, Android, and desktop)
  • Group chat
  • Calling capabilities
  • Stability

and turns out there’s only one app I’ve found that hits all those criteria, and that’s Signal.

Ok, so you want a little more information about the list above? I’ll run that down here, but if you are willing to trust me, just go and download and install it. Their website is also a wealth of information if you don’t like my explanations or want more details.

  • End to end encryption – See this wiki page, but basically it means your message is encrypted from the time it leaves your phone until it’s read on the other end.
  • Ability to expire messages – Want to chat with someone and not have the messages come back to haunt you 4 years from now? You have that ability right in Signal for each conversation.
  • The “owning” company not being able to see my messages – Think FB or Google aren’t trying to monetize you? Think again. Think text messaging is secure? Nope. All these companies make money off using your information to build profiles of you so that they can advertise to you or sell it to others.
  • Cross platform (iOS, Android, and desktop) – This is on here mostly for iMessage, but is also applicable for things like WeChat that only have “phone” versions of their app and any other messaging platform where I can’t use my desktop, phone, and tablet.
  • Group chat – This is pretty much a given for any messaging app, but as it’s a requirement to make the app any use at all it makes sense.
  • Calling capabilities – Again, end to end encryption with phone calls on Signal as well. So, when a text message or image just won’t do it you can rest assured your voice conversations are secured as well.
  • Stability – This is mostly a dig at Google since they can’t seem to figure out what they’re going to do with messaging. Is it Hangouts? Allo? Duo? Grand Central? Google Chat? Google Voice?

And here’s the final benefit in my mind that kind of loops all of these things in under one umbrella. With Signal and the capabilities above you have the ability to “roll your own” secure social network. I’ve removed all the pictures of my kids from my social media accounts not only because I don’t want the companies monetizing them, but also so they are free to grow up and be kids. To make mistakes and not be reminded of them for the rest of their lives. With an app like Signal I can share photos and funny stories with just the people I want to. Sure there are ways things won’t always stay “in app”, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what you’re going to get from FB, Twitter, and the like.

So there you have it. Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you. If not leave a comment.

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