PUT TELEGRAM IN THE BIN (LET’S GET ENCRYPTED) – TECHNOLOGY AND SECURITY 101.

This post is a continuation of a series, the previous post can be found HERE

We have talked about the different key points that make a good instant messaging app, and it is time to name and shame applications you should never use for any communications (from organising a demo to organising a coffee date, fuck using the apps below!)

SMS (Text) Messages. We’ve already talked about this but your SMS are sent in plain text and literally, everybody can read them. Don’t use text unless necessary.

FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING: Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and other social media private messaging apps are NEVER safe to use. They work in a centralised network, they are (for the most part) not encrypted and they only serve one purpose: to collect your data. All the big social media names also have no problem complying with governments when requested, so your metadata, text and media will be shared on request. WhatsApp is an incredibly common instant messaging application you should delete from your phone immediately. Since it was acquired by Meta (Facebook) this has become an even more important thing.

WHATSAPP: WhatsApp is a closed source application (which means no one can read the code to tell if what WhatsApp says is true) and although they say it has End to End Encryption, Facebook can read any texts that have been marked as abusive, which brings into question the truth about their encryption. They collect heaps of metadata (location, time, date, users involved in the conversation and so on) which is not encrypted and they have an extensive track record of collaborating with the government. Move your family away from WhatsApp and delete the app. Seriously.

iMESSAGE: iMessage is also heavily advised against. For iPhone users only, iMessage was a very useful app when it was first introduced, making texts free for a lot of people! There are many problems with iMessage but here are a few important ones. The app’s code is closed. Their encryption protocol is trash. They collaborate with the NSA and will give information to governments on request. It is not a safe app.

TELEGRAM: Telegram needs to be completely trashed and put in the bin. This will divide many people and might make you feel uncomfy inside, but telegram is NOT a safe app. They have managed to sell themselves as a privacy and security messaging application, but the amount of problems with the application is staggering. To start with, Telegrams encryption is not enabled by default. This is such a massive problem that should make you uninstall the app immediately just because of it, but there are a few other bits to talk about. Telegram collects user information, does not hash it and permanently shares that information with the parent company. They DO NOT encrypt metadata (so the conversation logs are available) and thanks to a not-so-open-sourced code dealing with their bespoke cryptography, the company CAN READ YOUR MESSAGES even when encrypted! Telegram is so not an application to use, not for group chats, not for private chats, not for anything. There are much better alternatives to explore. In the next article, we will give you a few options for better messaging apps to use. Keep an eye out!

FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE TECHNOLOGY DYSTOPIA.

UA Tech&Sec Support

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