These days, everyone wants a piece of your private data. From social media sites to e-commerce platforms, it’s no secret that data is the key to winning customers. The latest to join this trend is WhatsApp who have made public their intentions to associate your data with Facebook. That is why the whatsapp alternatives are on the rise.
When it comes to messaging apps, users tend to share intimate and personal details of their lives, such as photos, documents, and texts. Previously, the go-to app for privacy-focused people was the end-to-end encrypted messaging app WhatsApp. But many users are looking to find an alternative.
What’s wrong with WhatsApp?
WhatsApp was once the app that users could count on to send their messages anywhere in the world without paying standard phone charges. Leading the international instant messaging pack, WhatsApp is a main communication tool for many people and companies.
Interactions with business profiles on WhatsApp will allow third-party platforms to access information such as your name, location, number, and more. In addition, WhatsApp will share certain information with the rest of the Facebook group of companies, such as Facebook and Instagram.
With this, you can expect to get additional personalized ads on these platforms from your WhatsApp usage.
If you’re not comfortable with all the new WhatsApp changes, fear not. Here are a couple of WhatsApp alternatives that you can consider to migrate your messaging.
First on this list is the open source messaging app, Telegram. Telegram not only compares quite well with WhatsApp, but also has innovative features that set it apart from many of its competitors.
Unlike WhatsApp, you don’t need to provide your phone number to send a message to someone on Telegram. This means giving up one less data point needed to establish a connection.
Telegram is also available for your use on multiple platforms at once and on almost all platforms. Like WhatsApp, Telegram has file sharing, end-to-end encryption (however, it’s only limited to its secret chats feature), disappearing messages, and password protection.
While Telegram also has other features, such as public channels and supergroups that can host thousands of members at once, it does have its caveats. These features may sound great at first, but end-to-end encryption is turned off by default for groups. In addition, there are some additional encryption concerns when Telegram runs in parallel with multiple devices.
Signal Foundation, the company behind the end-to-end encryption of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, has its own messenger: Signal Private Messenger. With famed cryptographer Moxie and former WhatsApp founder Brian Acton at the helm, Signal is committed to privacy.
Unlike WhatsApp, Signal encrypts even the metadata of backup files, group calls, cell phone numbers, dates and times of messages. In fact, doesn’t even show previews of your messages when your device is in multitasking mode and Signal allows users to blur faces in photos.
Designed as a collaboration tool rather than a messaging app, Wickr can share screens, locations, and your status along with fully encrypted messages and notes.
With encryption enabled by default, Wickr also does not require email addresses or phone numbers to set up an account. In order to leave no trace, Wickr does not record IP addresses or metadata. Users can also define the length of messages from three seconds to six days.
Wickr encrypts files locally and use a safe File Shredder to clean RAM of your device after messages. Wickr also uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) which reduces the access hackers will have when data is compromised, as well as two-factor authentication (2FA).
Being a fully paid messaging app, Threema is often left out of the free apps. However, your commitment to restrict access to metadata may well be worth the price for many users. Threema is committed to not storing so much user data that it doesn’t even require a phone number or email address to set it up.
Threema permanently deletes messages immediately upon receipt. With locally managed information, there is no way to crack the connections. With password protection, no personally identifiable information, and anonymous chat features, Threema commits to the idea that privacy is worth paying for.
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Protect your private information
While WhatsApp is still a secure messaging app, many people understandably still prefer a more private option. If you decide to keep using the app, there are ways to make it more secure.
It is understandable that changing messaging platforms can be difficult. Hopefully, with our list of alternatives, you will have enough information in your arsenal to help everyone in your circle make the right decision for everyone involved about whatsapp alternatives.