Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp and iMessage: Choosing a Private Encrypted Chat App

Two apps—Signal and Telegram—are at present the No. 1 and No. 2 free app downloads in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Millions of customers flocked to the chat apps in current weeks, in accordance with information from Apptopia and Sensor Tower. There are a few elements behind the surge.

One is concern over a privacy-policy replace for the Facebook Inc. -owned WhatsApp. Meanwhile, the deplatforming of President Trump from outstanding social networks following the U.S. Capitol riot has pushed individuals to hunt communication instruments with out moderators and exterior visibility.

On Jan. 7, Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted, “Use Signal.” A subsequent flood of customers brought about the app’s phone-number verification system to interrupt quickly. Days later, Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorseypublished a screenshot of Signal on the prime of the App Store charts, together with a coronary heart emoji. At the identical time, influential accounts on Parler, the social network popular among conservatives, referred to as on followers to maneuver to Telegram. Donald Trump Jr. actively posts in a public channel on the app.

What do Signal and Telegram have in widespread? Both are chat apps that provide end-to-end encryption exterior of Big Tech’s grasp. Encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram can supply extra safety, privateness and options than plain textual content messaging—however their encryption strategies and information assortment fluctuate. Meanwhile, WhatsApp and Apple Inc.’s iMessage additionally supply end-to-end encryption, however inside their respective ecosystems.

Here’s how to decide on an encrypted chat app, and why you may need to.

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