WhatsApp Signal or Telegram or are they all bad?

Messaging Security – Even WhatsApp alternatives pose a risk

Wednesday 27 January, 2021

Smartphone apps such as Signal and Telegram claim to be more secure than WhatsApp, but are they? Which one is better in terms of keeping your data secure and private? Or more accurately, are any of them actually fully secure?

Whilst WhatsApp issues are well documented and millions of users have recently switched to alternative mobile messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal, switching alone is unlikely to be sufficient. 

Who are Telegram?

Telegram was founded in Russia and launched in 2013, but the headquarters was moved to Berlin between 2014 and 2015. However, following an unsuccessful attempt to gain permits for all their employees, they moved again and are now currently based in Dubai. 

It is documented that Telegram does not offer end-to-end encryption by default. The advertising of such a security feature and the implementation thereof gives new users a false sense of security. 

Who are Signal?

Signal is the follow on from the RedPhone encrypted voice app and the TextSecure encrypted text app that were both initially launched in 2010. Signal was launched as a not for profit in 2018 by Moxie Marlinspike and Brian Acton (WhatsApp co-founder). In fact, WhatsApp uses its own proprietary deployment of Signal’s encryption protocol.

Signal, like Telegram, are a cloud-based service, which significantly opens them up to cyber-attacks. Signal rely on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as they do not own their own data centre. 

It is also worth noting that both Telegram and Signal are unlikely to have the resources to provide a fully communicated response to their customers should their systems be breached by a hack. 

For example, WhatsApp and Facebook were able to respond by contacting those customers they believed were affected by a hugely high-profile hack. They were able to contact governments and issue legal proceedings against those they felt were responsible. All this whilst also fixing the security holes. 

A Business and Private Messaging Alternative

The distinction between business and private mobile communications can be profound in content, however the need for high security and privacy levels are the same. 

The risk of using the same device for both business and private communications, if letting your guard down, can be high. People can often become complacent about their social communications. 

The Blackphone PRIVY has been developed with the ability for the smartphone to securely separate data and personal information of business and private use, so that neither are accessible by each other.

In addition, the Silent Phone technology deployed on the Blackphone PRIVY means that your communications remain private and secure between Silent Phone enabled devices, whilst also ensuring that no data is stored on any server and no data is collected to be linked to you, unlike Signal and Telegram. 

End to End Encryption by Default?

In addition to the issues already mentioned, it is important to remember that Telegram does not have end to end encryption enabled by default. It is something that needs to be activated by the user, many of which are completely unaware of this security and privacy risk. End to end encryption is a vital aspect for private mobile communications. 

It appears that this is also the case for Facebook Messenger, end to end encryption needs to be activated by the user. Signal, however, does have end to end encryption by default. 

This raises the question, if WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram messaging services are not totally secure, what messaging app should you use?

Silent Phone – True Mobile Messenger Security and Privacy

The Silent Phone technology offers a truly secure, private and unrivalled mobile messaging service. All your messages are end to end encrypted and authenticated by default. The encryption and decryption is carried out on the devices themselves, so only your intended recipient can access your message. 

The Silent Phone app does not link any data with you and no IP address, call logs or messages between users are retained. This means there is no data or information available to any potential hacker to access. 

In addition, the app can be easily deployed across a corporate enterprise meaning your business can be protected. 

By including the hardware and software security features of the Blackphone PRIVY and the Silent Phone messaging app, you and your business can have peace of mind that your mobile communications will always remain private and secure. 

The Blackphone PRIVY mobile security features include:

  • End to end encryption by default
  • Encrypted storage
  • Locked bootloader 
  • Device wipe feature
  • Incognito mode
  • Wiretap secure

The Blackphone has also been designed to be secure should it get stolen or lost. The full disk encryption secures the data, files, operating system and software programs meaning that nothing can be extracted. 

All your messages and personal information are protected. 

If you would like find out more about how the Blackphone PRIVY and the Silent Phone App can protect you and your business, please give our team a call and they’ll be happy to discuss your specific requirements. 

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