We are now living in a world where internet surveillance is widespread. Hackers and even government agencies want access to private communications; giving rise to secure messaging apps in an attempt to resolve this issue.
The good thing about the most secure messaging apps for Android is that they don’t just secure your messages but also your chat history, calls, and even videos. These apps contain a feature called end-to-end encryption that guarantees privacy.
How to tell if your message is end-to-end encrypted?
Nowadays, it is so easy to swoop in on someone’s private data –– hackers are just everywhere! Also, marketing companies are not just tracking users, but want access to their messages.
Traditionally, private messaging required copies of your chat history to be stored on the developer’s servers. This could then be potentially exposed and published online by hackers –– in just a blink of an eye, your private details are there for the world to see!
And while there is an increasing number of privacy apps available for mobile, there is also a growing number of encrypted messaging apps. But exactly how can you tell if your message is end-to-end encrypted?
Messages are encrypted if the only person who has access to the message is the one you are communicating with. Your service provider can’t open it on their servers, government agencies don’t have access to it, not even the developer of the app has access to your messages.
In this article, we have put together a list of the most secure messaging apps for Android.
5 Most Secure Messaging Apps for Android
Regarded as the epitome of encrypted messaging apps, Signal‘s encryption engine is open source and is available for anyone to oversee. However, it does not make it any easier to hack and access. It means that there are a lot more people looking at the quality of the encryption methods.
Aside from the encryption feature it offers, the app is very straightforward and has a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate –– even users who are not that tech-savvy won’t be intimidated. Signal offers free and instantaneous communication to people all over the world.
The app lets you send encrypted messages, high-resolution photos and videos, and supports group chats too –– it pretty much covers everything! And to fully make use of the encrypted feature, you and the person you’re chatting with should have Signal installed on your phones.
Additionally, Signal also supports video calls and disappearing messages that vanish after a certain period of time –– perfect for messages that you want off record.
- End-to-end encryption feature
- HD voice/video calls
- Lets you send anything –– photos, videos, and files
- Support group chats
- Disappearing messages
You might be familiar with WhatsApp as it’s one of the most recognizable apps today. In fact, as of January 2021, it has over 2 billion users worldwide. What many users don’t realize is that WhatsApp, a messaging app owned by Facebook, has one of the strongest encryption systems of any messaging apps for Android.
There’s nothing WhatsApp can’t do –– from the standard text-based conversations, it supports video calls, video messaging, group chats, and even location sharing. The app also lets you send multimedia files such as photos, videos, and files.
Moreover, you can ping several people simultaneously –– thanks to its broadcast feature. WhatsApp is a great way to communicate with friends and loved ones. Chances are that many people in your contact list already have the app installed on their phones.
And the best thing? WhatsApp messages are encrypted by default, meaning there’s no way to turn them off. WhatsApp also constantly updates, guaranteeing that it continuously incorporates useful features for its users.
- Messages are encrypted by default
- Supports multimedia sending/receiving
- Free voice and video calls
- Lets you set custom wallpapers and sound
- Broadcast messaging to several contacts
Another secure messaging app for Android is Threema which aims to protect its users from unwanted elements trying to gain access to their messages. One of its best features is that Threema can be used anonymously for messages and phone calls –– both are securely protected with the app’s encryption feature.
Also, its encryption feature extends all communication including photos, videos, files, voice calls, video calls, group chats, and more. Threema takes pride in one thing: all your contact details are stored on your Android phone or tablet and not stored in their servers. Additionally, any messages that go through their servers are deleted right away.
This ensures that local files will be securely stored on your device and prevents inappropriate use of their users’ personal data. So, you can be assured that only the intended recipient will get to see and access the messages.
- Anonymous use
- Design for minimum data use
- Contact details are never stored in the app’s servers
- Local files are stored in the device
- High encryption strength
When talking about a simple, fast, and powerful messaging app, Telegram is a solid choice. Unlike Signal, Telegram isn’t open-source, thus not many third-party experts are able to assess its encryption feature quality. However, it does have a slick interface that is perfect for users of all ages.
The end-to-end encryption feature does not come as a default with this app. Make sure to activate the Secret mode so no unwanted eyes will be able see your messages.
Telegram is an all-in-one app with features such as chat backups and disappearing messages that expire after a certain amount of time. You can also catch up with your peers with group chats, voice/video calls, and many more!
One of its coolest features is it allows for basic photo and video editing for well-curated multimedia files before sending. Additionally, Telegram lets you send fun stickers and audio memos for personalizing messages.
And just as long as you don’t forget to turn on the Secret mode, your secrets are safe!
- Synced messages which can be accessed from all of your devices
- Highly intuitive interface
- All-in-one secure messaging app
Like any other messaging apps, Silence allows for message exchange with no fuss. The app aims to give its users some peace of mind in ensuring that their messages are sent with complete privacy.
Basically, Silence is an SMS/MMS application that deals directly with SMS and MMS, rather than the traditional chat protocols over the web. And since it works as an SMS app, there’s nothing to sign up for between you and your friends. How cool is that?
Silence provides end-to-end encryption on your messages, allowing you to send anything without the fear of being watched. There are no servers and internet connection required to get your messages across. Plus, it needs a unique password to keep the app locked.
The app is absolutely free and open-source, so there are a lot of experts verifying its security by auditing its protocols and codes. Finally, the cherry on top –– the app doesn’t allow your communications to be screen-shotted!
- End-to-end encryption on SMS/MMS
- Doesn’t require servers and internet connection
What is end-to-end encryption?
Basically, end-to-end encryption is a method of encrypting the data that only allows the sender and receiver to read and access the messages. As already mentioned at the beginning of this article, service providers won’t be able to decrypt your message. Also, your communications won’t be stored to the developer’s servers.
What is the most secure messaging app on the list?
Each app on the list above is on top of their game. They have end-to-end encryption that assures privacy, secrecy, and security over your data. However, considering other components and features, Signal would be considered the most secure messaging app on this list.
Protect your messages!
Unfortunately, the numbers of cybercriminals wanting access to people’s messages have dramatically increased over the years. And we are living in a digital world where privacy and security matter the most. What we can do is protect ourselves to the best of our abilities and make use of the resources that are available. If online privacy is your top priority, then you should have the most secure messaging apps on your phone now!