In recent years people seem to care more and more about their privacy. It wasn’t always like that. In the starting years of Facebook or any other social media platforms and messaging apps, privacy wasn’t a major concern for any common user.
All those apps were new and attractive and people were curious and wanted to use them. Also since the per person data production at that time was very low, and that amount of data wasn’t enough to precisely make up the person’s profile or change the market trends or to forecast anything.
It’s not like that Facebook, WhatsApp, or any other platforms were totally privacy-respecting during the starting years but we as consumers don’t use to give a rat’s ass.
But with the advancement of technology as the common person gets educated in technology we started to ask questions and the answers blow our mind. The data created by us was being used to change the market trends, analyze patterns in masses, changing and sabotaging elections which became a grave concern for both financial and government institutions.
It was not all negative, the data we provide also helps to make apps more user-friendly, and fast with personalized services! Which wouldn’t have been possible without collecting a huge amount of data.
It’s not like it’s the first time WhatsApp is sharing data with Facebook.
Your Alternatives for Whatsapp
Coming to the title We have divided these alternatives into two categories Centralized and Decentralized. As for those of you who don’t know the difference.
1. Signal Private Messenger
Signal: Speak freely
Millions of people use Signal for an instant, free, and encrypted communication because it is known as one of the most secure messaging apps on the market. Signal secure messaging is one of the only apps that has its privacy-preserving technology always enabled; this default system ensures that there is never a risk of sharing moments or sending messages to a non-intended recipient. The signal is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service dedicated to end-to-end encrypted voice calling and encrypted texting. Encryption has always been the core of the company’s product, and when it was acquired by Twitter, the aim was to improve its privacy-protecting platform even further. For more security, users have the ability to choose different disappearing message intervals for each conversation that they have saved in their chat history. Signal is an Open Source project supported by donations and grants, so there are no advertisements, no affiliate marketers, and no secret tracking. Signal doesn’t have the keys to decrypt messages, so the company will never have access to content its users are exchanging.
- Open Source Protocol
- Self-destructing messages after given time frame
- Uses phone’s data connection to void SMS and MSS fees
- Encrypted stickers
- Group chat
- View-once media
Cost: FREE w/ no ads
Number of Users: Signal doesn’t publish statistics about how many users they have, but Android’s Google Play store reports that Signal has been downloaded between 1 and 5 million times, and the iPhone App Store does not publish this data.
Wire: The most secure collaboration platform
Another secure chat app option is Wire. Wire is another one of the very few apps that sets end-to-end encryption as the default to protect your messages, images, and files. Wire’s encryption works transparently in the background and does not need to be activated because it is always on. Additionally, a new encryption key is used for every message, reducing the impact of a single compromised key. It is 100% open source, so its source code is available for users to verify, inspect, and improve through GitHub. Wire does not sell analytics or usage data to third parties. This secure messaging program› is fully compliant with the strict data protection laws in Switzerland and the European Union, and it’s the most publicly audited collaboration and communication software on the market.
- Timed/ephemeral conversations
- 100% open source
- File sharing
- Group Chats
Cost: Free version for personal use and paid one for organizations (large enterprises) w/ no ads
Number of Users: Wire reported that its daily active users are in the hundreds of thousands.
When talking about decentralized technology, the first thing that comes to mind is Blockchain. You can read more about blockchain here.
Blockchain technology provides the world with a more secure and efficient means of doing business. The need for privacy, data security, and easy to implement systems has long been the focus of corporations seeking to keep their companies internal workings private. The private sector shares these concerns with the corporate world.
This demand for private instant communication fueled the rise of popular encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram and Whatsapp. Now it appears that blockchain technology is set to revolutionize the way we communicate once more. Blockchain messaging apps are on the rise. Multiple platforms have entered the market this year, with more scheduled for release in the coming months.
Let’s take a look at some of the most promising blockchain messaging platforms today.
The Dust messaging platform was one of the first blockchain-based messaging apps to enter the market. The Los Angeles-based encryption app launched on March 1, 2014. The app received substantial media coverage because Mark Cuban was one of the main backers of the platform.
Dust offers users a couple of unique features. Messages automatically are erased, or dusted, from both the sender and receiver’s phones after 24 hours. Also, you can choose to have their messages deleted upon reading confirmation.
Cryptviser is a decentralized platform that eliminates the concern of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks. Most messengers store your data in a centralized database. These systems are easily censored, blocked, or controlled by those with access to the information. Cryptvisor eliminates these risks by completely removing centralized servers and user information from the equation.
In an interview with App Developer Magazine, the company’s CCO, Mark Babbitt, explained that his company’s focus is on providing everyday users with the same level of security afforded by corporations and governments around the world. He went on to explain how the Internet-of-Things (IoT) will only increase the need for personal privacy.
The e-Chat messenger app offers IPFS technology coupled with a peer-to-peer messaging service. Unlike other traditional messaging platforms, there is no central storage point for your data. This decentralization eliminates the concerns of MITM attacks. The platform also allows users to tip people for their content. The feature is called Cryptolike, and it is part of the platform’s content creator section, in which users can create subscription channels.
The e-chat platform includes a built-in payment system for contactless NFC and QR payments too. With this, you can transfer money or cryptocurrencies in private messages. The platform also consists of built-in crypto conversion software that allows you to exchange crypto directly from their phone’s wallet. You have a variety of different ways to access your information including a fingerprint scanner, face recognition, and private keys for accessing your wallet.
The hugely popular messaging app Telegram successfully raised over $1.7 billion this year via their Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Telegram has long offered encrypted messaging services, but now the company is to move full steam into crypto-friendly integrations. The first of these integrations was initiated this month under their new identification verification app, Passport.
Passport allows Telegram you to store your personal and most sensitive documents on Telegram’s encrypted blockchain network. The company utilizes end-to-end encryption, and company officials claim they have no access to your data.
So these were few apps those will definitely help you to stay private in a world where “Privacy is just a Myth”.
A technology enthusiast who loves to create and break things. Love to work on Linux, technology, and Computers. I am a CyberSecurity aficionado, and wannabe wildlife Photographer constantly learning and experiencing new things.