From WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger, there are many options for sending messages to friends, family, and colleagues. But which is most secure? Apa says the best messaging app consumers can use right now is the encrypted messaging and voice calling app Signal.
Because Signal’s security protocol is open source, independent experts can play with the protocol and find vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to grab messages and files, Apa tells Complex. And unlike other messaging apps, Signal does not store any messages or files on their servers. So even if their servers got hacked, there would be nothing to find. This also means that messages and files sent through Signal are safe from the government—the only data stored is a timestamp with the last time a person connected to the app.
WhatsApp fails on the storage front, according to Apa. “When information is stored on servers, they can be obtained by federal authorities. The messages are stored automatically through iCloud or other syncing methods,” meaning your messages are still out there on the app’s server. WhatsApp also stores contacts, which could also potentially be summoned. Facebook Messenger fails, too, save for the “secret conversation” mode.
So if you want to make sure nobody can access your messages and files sent through a messaging app, skip Facebook and WhatsApp altogether (or at least for really sensitive information), and download Signal.