Keepin' it real in Tech
Mobile Messaging Privacy Using Signal
There are tons of messaging apps available today for both iPhone and Android. Few of them offer any genuine sense of security and privacy. For example, if you use the default calling app on your phone to call a friend, your call is not encrypted and therefore not private. Sometimes privacy is something we crave just because it is a part of our personality. In other cases, privacy is critical because of our work. For example, an American journalist traveling to Turkey to interview someone needs privacy to protect the individual they are interviewing. This is where the app Signal comes in.
Signal was created by Open Whisper Systems, it costs nothing to download and is Free software (free as in freedom).
You can find a copy of the source code by Clicking Here.
Signal has been independently audited by 3rd parties to test the integrity of it’s security and is has even been recommended by Edward Snowden. So if you’re as concerned with privacy as much as Edward Snowden, consider installing signal on your mobile device.
Signal has great voice quality when making phone calls. Many users report that they can hear whoever they are calling better on signal than they can on their pre-installed app!
Signal let’s you know whether or not your text was successfully sent, received, and read. Signal provides a single checkmark for sent, 2 checkmarks for it being received, and both checkmarks will be highlighted if the text was read.
Another great thing about Signal is that Signal implements “safety numbers” which are unique numbers given to identify the person you are calling. This is an advanced security feature. Suppose that you have a friend named “Joe”, and Joe’s phone number is 245-401-2345. Well if an individual named “Sam” is impersonating Joe, and using a phone spoofer to spoof Joe’s number, when Sam sends you a text, he will have a different safety number, and you will know that either
- Joe has just bought a new device with the same number.
- Joe is being impersonated by someone.
Modern day pre-installed apps do not have security measures in place that protect you from phone spoofers.
And last but not least another great feature about Signal is fallback reliability. Suppose for some reason I have no phone service in my area but I have access to wifi. I can make calls, send texts, files, photos, etc over wifi with Signal! This is great if you need to communicate about something important but do not have phone service at the time. And it’s free!
If you prefer quality voice calls, privacy and security, value free and open source software, you should at least give Signal a try.
It is better to use technology made by people who care about you than using technology by people who only care to profit from you.
Keep it real.