Messaging app developers pride themselves on creating fun and secure apps that are easy to use. Certin apps are known to be more secure than others, an vice versa- but are the most secure messaging apps really as secure as they’re made out to be?
It’s highly unlikely. This is mostly because no one can agree n what the word “secure” means in terms of messaging apps. In the case of home security, “secure” would mean safe from burglars or people wanting to cause harm, however, the home in question wouldn’t be safe from bomb threats. In the case of messaging apps, though, it’s thought that “secure” means safe from unwanted communication and bullying, but not from viruses or hackers. Even though this example has been generally agreed upon, there are still people that disagree.
Many users believe that “secure” should mean the user is safe from any threats that could come with a messaging app.
Snapchat has been put under investigation due to their promise of a secure app. Snapchat developers told the public that their messages, once sent, were deleted from Snapchat servers. It was discovered, however, that the messages weren’t being deleted and were able to be accessed by those who might want to cause harm whether it be mental, physical, or financial.
Encryption is a big part of messaging app security. Encryption ensures that no one can read a users messages while they are being sent to the recipient. This doesn’t mean that the messages can’t be read from a computer or other device, and doesn’t mean that the messages are deleted from all servers (it is possible to obtain a court order to get the encrypted messages from their server).
So, when a company offers encryption what are they really offering? To answer this, it’s best to look at what they aren’t offering. No messaging app company will promise to go to prison just to protect the messages that you have sent- if police forces ask for the messages, the company will hand them over. This being said, companies who offer encryption will go the extra mile to make sure that your private messages (as long as they aren’t harmful or illegal) don’t fall into anyone else’s hands once they are sent. Essentially, this means that if you imagine your message flying through space, a hacker’s hand can’t reach out of the dark and capture your message before it gets to its destination, resulting in the message being lost forever or used in inappropriate ways.