signal

signal is a secure encrypted messaging app. Think of it as a more private alternative to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, iMessage, and SMS. Here’s why you should seriously consider switching to Signal.

Why Signal is special

The signal is available for Android, iPhone and iPad. There is also a Signal desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux. To participate, all you need is a phone number. It’s free.

Signal’s user experience is just like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other popular chat apps. It’s a messaging app with features like individual messages, groups, stickers, photos, file transfers, voice calls, and even video calls. You can have group chats with up to 1000 people and group calls up to eight people.

Signal is not owned by a large tech company. Instead, Signal is developed and funded by a non-profit foundation donate. Unlike Facebook, the owners of Signal don’t even try to make money. Signal does not attempt to collect any number of data about you or to serve you advertisements.

While Signal has a very familiar interface, under the hood it’s very different. Your conversations on Signal are encrypted throughout, which means that not even the owners of Signal can monitor them. Only the people in conversation can see them.

Signal is also complete Open source. The source code for the project’s client apps and server software is available on GitHub.

How (and why) the signal is so private and secure

The Signal app splash screen on an iPhone.
Eliseu Geisler / Shutterstock.com

All communications on Signal – including one-to-one messages, group messages, file transfers, photos, voice calls, and video calls – are encrypted throughout. Only the people involved in the communication can see them. The encryption takes place between the individual devices via signal. The company that operates Signal could not see these messages, even if they wanted to. Signal actually generated its own encryption protocol for this.

This is very different from traditional messaging apps. For example, Facebook has access to everything you say on Facebook Messenger. Facebook says it won’t use the content of your messages for advertising, but are you confident that this will never change in the future?

Sure, some other messengers offer encrypted messages as an optional feature. But everything on Signal is always encrypted by default. Signal also offers other privacy features, including self-destructing (disappearing) messages this is automatically removed after a while.

Facebook Messenger also collects a lot of data about you. Most companies collect a lot of data. Signal doesn’t try.

Even Signal is subpoenaed and required to disclose what it knows about you, the company knows nearly nothing about you and your signaling activity. The signal can only display the phone number of your account, the date of the last connection and the time the account was created.

In contrast, Facebook could display your full name, everything you said on Facebook Messenger, a list of the geographic locations you accessed your account from, and so on.

Everything in your Signal app – messages, pictures, files, etc. – is stored locally on your phone. You can Transfer data manually between devicesbut that’s it.

Why is Signal so popular all of a sudden?

Signal’s end-to-end encryption is the big feature. This is why so many people use Signal – because they are privacy concerns. At the beginning of 2021 it was approved by everyone Elon Musk to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and has shot to the top of the Apple and Google App Store charts.

But Signal didn’t come out of nowhere – it was founded in 2013. It is widely recognized software that has long been used by data protection officers and other activists. Edward Snowden endorsed signal back in 2015.

At the beginning of 2021, Signal achieved even greater mainstream acceptance. WhatsApp is revising its privacy policy Share even more data with Facebookand many people clearly want to get their conversations out of Mark Zuckerberg’s perspective and embrace privacy.

Signal as the best free app in the iPhone App Store.

The signal identifies you based on your telephone number

While your communications on Signal are private, you are not anonymous. To sign up for Signal you need a phone number. To speak to someone on Signal, your phone number is your identifier on Signal.

This is by design – Signal is intended as a replacement for SMS. When you sign up for Signal and install the app, you will be asked to access the contacts on your phone. Signal securely scans your contacts to determine which of them are also Signal users. It just checks the phone numbers and checks whether these phone numbers are also registered with Signal.

When you and someone else are communicating via SMS, you can both install Signal and easily switch. When you install Signal you will be able to see which of your contacts you can send via Signal instead of SMS. You don’t have to ask them for their signal handle – it’s just their phone number. (You can, however Check the security numbers associated with a conversation to make sure you are speaking directly to whoever you think you are. This is another useful safety feature in Signal.)

If you are concerned that the other people you speak to on Signal have your phone number, then you can give it a try Registration with a secondary phone number. However, if you are realistically looking for a non-phone number dependent chat solution – for example, an anonymous chat solution that only uses usernames instead of phone numbers – SIgnal is not what you are looking for.

Get started with Signal

The signal is easy to start. Just download the official Signal app from both of them Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPad or Google Play for Android. Go through the setup process to give Signal a phone number and access your contacts. ((Contact access is optional, but Signal is designed to work best with it.)

You can then start calls within the app. If you have someone in your contacts and their phone number is linked to a signal account, you can contact them via Signal. It’s seamless.

Would you like to speak to someone on Signal instead of another chat app? Just ask them to download it and sign up. You even will You will receive a notification when someone you know signs up for Signal.

You can also Download the Signal desktop app for Windows, Mac or Linux from the SIgnal Foundation website. This will sync messages from the Signal app on your phone to your computer. However, it is optional.

CONNECTED: Can you use the signal without specifying your contacts?

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