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The United States requires Internet Service Providers to record what you do online. This makes it very important to have encrypted messaging. This form of encryption makes it so companies can not monitor your text conversations, emails and possibly even allow you to encrypt your voice conversations as well. As the NSA heightens the requirements for internet service providers, it continues to get more critical for you to protect yourself and your personal information online.

How Does Encrypted Messaging Work?

Encryption encodes your information to prevent anyone other than the target viewer from seeing it. This is similar to having a “secret code” where only you and your friends knew what it meant. Modern day encryption consists of an algorithm that converts information into a series of random characters and symbols. This makes the data unreadable, and it requires a unique code to convert it back.

Why is Encrypted Messaging Important?

It’s important to keep your information safe when you are texting, talking and browsing the web. Anywhere you enter personal information can be breached and your identity, payment information, and safety can be at risk.

If someone is trying to find out where you are going to be on a given day and time – they could do that with the right knowledge. Someone could hack into your phone and find out when you are away, so they can rob your home or steal private information from you. However, if someone hacked into your phone and your messages are encrypted, they would not be able to read any of your words or hear any of your phone calls.

On iOS or MacOSX, if you are using the Messages app, the system automatically comes with end-to-end encryption which protects all of your messages from the start. Alternatively, downloading an encryption app is very simple.

The Best Encryption Apps

Here are some of the best apps you can use to encrypt your important messages, documents and emails to keep everything safe:

Apple Messages

If you are using any of the Apple Operating Systems, you are most likely using Apple Messages. This method provides you with a lot of protection across all your devices. This keeps your information safe regardless of which device you are on, and it encrypts all of your conversations. Even stored data is encrypted using an Apple ID that is built into the iCloud to keep your information stored in the cloud safe.

Signal

This app can be used on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. With this app, you can encrypt just about anything including text, files, voice notes, videos, and images. All of your conversations and video calls get secured by end-to-end encryption.

Signal has its own platform and is free for anyone to download quickly. For this app to be used all included parties must download the app on their device to participate in the encrypted conversations.

Wickr Me

This app uses end-to-end encryption and offers messages that expire after a period to prevent long-term access. This app is available for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can set a timer on your messages that also applies to messages sent to other people’s devices. After the time expires, your messages get deleted from all platforms.

For extra security, every message contains its unique key; this means no one besides the individual sending the message has the conversation key. Using this app, you communicate one-on-one or in groups, and no email or phone number is required to gain access. No information is stored on the app, and you can remain completely anonymous.

 

It is incredibly important to educate and protect yourself in today’s digital environment. Someone is always learning a new way around your typical virus protection and spam blocker, so you need to do everything you can to keep your information safe.

It’s also important to remember that while this will secure your messaging, there may still be other areas of your cell phone that aren’t as secure. For example, accessing your online bank account or making online payments can still be vulnerable to interception, particular on public Wi-Fi networks. Consider investing in a cheap VPN for full coverage and peace of mind.

PixelPrivacy.com is all about making the world of online security accessible to everyone. We pride ourselves in writing guides that we’re certain even our own mothers could understand! Be sure to head over to our blog if you’re interested in keeping your private information just that: Private!

Anya Beuzeval

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