So, Facebook has its hands in WhatsApp now. For some of you, that is a privacy nightmare, and you are looking for an alternative. It didn’t help too that WhatsApp was down for a number of hours over the weekend. I gather that many WhatsApp users have taken up Telegram as an alternative. I am no security expert, so I do not know exactly where things stand with a lot of these apps. But I can at least present you with information from people who do.
Joshua Lund of MissingM has been referenced as someone who understands security issues. He has a detailed post where he reviews several chat apps based on security: Fighting DISHFIRE: The State of Mobile, Cross-Platform, Encrypted Messaging. If you do not understand techno-speak, thou shalt not click to the article, because your head will swim. The article also mentions a long list of chat apps that I had never heard of. What I have done for you is extract the information that you can understand and that you need here for you.
Since that is what many people are switching to, I will take this first. Joshua says that Telegram isn’t as secure as many people think. His verdict: “I’m staying away for now.” But it looks exactly like WhatsApp, and many of you love it. If security/privacy isn’t your thing, go for it! Available for Android, Windows Phone, and iOS.
BlackBerry Messenger is popular here, and there seems to be a general impression that it is secure. Joshua bursts the bubble: ““Security” and “encryption” are not mentioned at all in the new BBM feature list, nor are they mentioned in the FAQ. In my opinion, BBM is on about the same level as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger in terms of security.” If you don’t care about security/privacy, please enjoy your BBM. Available on Android, iOS, and soon Windows Phone.
Never heard of this before? Me too. But Joshua says this is what he recommends for now. It is far more secure than WhatsApp, BBM and Telegram. It is available for Android and iOS. No word on when or if it will ever hit Windows Phone.
Popular: Skype, LINE and WeChat
As popular as Skype, LINE and WeChat are, they do not even make Joshua’s security list, meaning that they are probably just as secure as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which is saying nothing. So, feel free to use them if security/privacy are not your thing. All three of Skype, LINE and WeChat are available on Android, Windows Phone and iOS.
Interested in the detailed technical article? Read: Fighting DISHFIRE: The State of Mobile, Cross-Platform, Encrypted Messaging.