WhatsApp Is Not the Only Problem: Guide to Better Online Privacy

WhatsApp Is Not the Only Problem: Guide to Better Online Privacy




Where do we go from WhatsApp?

This is the question disturbing a lot of IM app users right now.

That is right too. For a platform that has gained billions of users compared to a few millions (relatively) for the close second (from a different company), it might look like losing them is the end of the world. That is not the truth, though.

Fortunately, there are amazing alternatives to WhatsApp – and here’s why they are great. Besides the fact that they care about your privacy, that is.


  1. Signal

Signal is an open-source, not-for-profit platform. This already shows how committed they are to user data privacy and security. They follow up on that with endorsements from both Elon Musk and Edward Snowden. That alone is enough to make us trust that they are good at what they do.


2. Telegram

Telegram’s secret chats, among others, are one of the safest private conversations you can have. Since they are not stored on the Telegram servers, you can rest assured that no one else can see them. 

Telegram also started the disappearing messages game way before WhatsApp came into the mix. That, and they now offer a neat way to import your WhatsApp chat history for seamless migration.


3. iMessages

End-to-end encryption, followed by the promise of Apple as regards privacy, are serious selling points for this app. iMessage allows a series of app integrations but it makes sure they do not have access to your chats and files shared. 

Bundled with Facetime, iMessage is also great on call and video quality.

The only peeve that we have with this one is how it’s not available outside the iOS ecosystem.


4. Threema

Threema, like Signal, is also an open-source platform. Unlike every other app on this list, though, you would have to pay a one-time fee to use their service.

That investment is worth it when you consider never having to supply a phone number or email address on sign-up. Being an independent company, Threema doesn’t have to share its servers or information with anyone else at all. That way, they can maintain your anonymity and privacy to the highest level.


That’s Not It About Privacy, Though

Switching your preferred chat apps to these picks above is not the end of the user privacy and security journey, though. 

You can still take other trusted and tested approaches like:

  • Using a VPN to encrypt your internet traffic
  • Avoiding public and Wi-Fi networks
  • Setting up all of your online accounts with secure passwords
  • Never sideloading apps on your device
  • Installing an antimalware app to keep malicious files out
  • Learning about phishing attacks – and how to avoid them
  • Enabling 2FA on all of your accounts that will allow you to do so
  • Keeping your secure passwords on a password manager


Conclusion

It is one thing to keep your chats private and secure. It is yet another thing to stay secure when online in every other place. 

Have both protocols set up and you stand a better chance against user data and privacy breaches.

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