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4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Secure Messaging App

Ciphr Team
June 15, 2020 - 8 min read

Choosing a Secure Messaging App

The obvious advantages of messaging apps are hard to argue with. They enable people around the world to connect instantly; sharing messages, video calls, images and more. They also serve as an effective team collaboration tool for almost every organization. No matter where you live or what you do, there's a good reason to use one.

A dangerous trend is emerging as people around the world adopt instant messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

People are willing to assume privacy risks for the sake of convenience.

But many of us are not willing to sacrifice our privacy and security. For those technology users, there are many options for secure messaging apps. In this article, we will look at 4 critical considerations when choosing an app for secure communication.

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1. Security

Secure messaging ensures that a sent message is protected from various security threats on route to its intended recipient. The recipient has rightful access to an untampered message. To verify that the messaging app you’re considering is secure, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the app include end-to-end encryption?
  • What encryption standards protect the data in your conversations?
  • What types of attacks is the app built to defend?
  • What added security features are offer beyond encryption?

Many apps claim to be secure only because they offer end-to-end encryption, TLS protocol or some other basic form of security.

Ciphr hits security threats head on with a combination of ECC-448 encryption, NTRU post-quantum protocols and AES-256 encryption. Security is taken a step further with Composite Key brute-force protection, unique encryption keys for each message in a chat and robust messaging infrastructure for seamless transmission of communications.

2. Privacy

Privacy is closely related to security. It has to do with how your personal data is being used and managed by your messaging app provider. To check for the level of privacy afforded by an app, consider these questions:

  • How much personal data does the app provider collect for registering an account?
  • What type, if any, of usage data does the app provider collect?
  • Do you have control over your own encryption keys?
  • Does the app have any reported backdoors?
  • Can you remain anonymous whilst using the app?

A private chat app encourages users to control their security and data. For example, Ciphr doesn't hold onto your private encryption key. Only you have access to your information in Ciphr.

We aren't in the business of data collection.

In fact, our mission is to take your personal data out of the equation. There's no hidden monetization of user data with Ciphr. We prefer to give you control of your own privacy instead.

3. Ease of Use

Sometimes, one of the trade-offs of secure communication is the user friendliness of the app. Security demands that users to take precautionary steps to prepare communications for transmission. Yes, the best of both worlds is hard to find, but it’s not entirely impossible. Secure messaging doesn't need to be difficult if you look for the right features:

  • Does the app offer a simple and intuitive user interface?
  • Can I communicate via messenger and email?
  • Can I share media files like images, notes, voice notes and contacts?
  • Do I enjoy using the app?

Ciphr is built for security and privacy at its core. But Ciphr is a communication app and it must enable seamless connections between our users!

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4. Meeting Future Threats

To keep communications secure today and tomorrow, it’s crucial for your service provider to keep you prepared for future threats.

Hackers are constantly evolving their attacks using new technologies and strategies.

Will your secure communication app be up for the test before it's too late?

  • Are the security protocols built to withstand attacks from emerging technologies?
  • Does the app frequently update its security protocols and usability?
  • Is the app developer pro-active in communicating threats to be aware of?

Preparing for future threats is no easy task. But knowing that your secure communication app is built to protect against known threats is peace of mind.

With Ciphr's PQ-ECC encryption, you can stay one-step ahead of the looming quantum computer's ability to break encryption.

Example: Ciphr Secure Chat App

To help you along, here’s an example of a secure chat app that meets all 4 conditions. Ciphr Text is at the cutting edge of secure messaging apps. We adhere to the most advanced encryption protocols:

  • ECC-448 encryption uses the mathematical properties of elliptic curves to produce public key cryptographic systems. This makes encryption faster and stronger for seamless communication.

  • Post-Quantum Elliptic Curve Cryptography (PQ-ECC) defends against the growing threat of quantum computers. Combining ECC-448 and NTRU, Ciphr Text protects each message with future-proof encryption.

  • Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) protects each Ciphr Text message with a unique encryption.

  • Long-term encryption keys are no longer a lingering threat to your data.

  • AES-256 protects the data stored in Ciphr Vault.

  • Ciphr's Composite Key adds powerful brute-force protection.

Choosing a Secure Communication App

When choosing a a communication app, it's crucial to determine from the beginning if you are looking for secure communication or casual communication. From here, you can ask the questions in this article to help you find the right app for you. It may not be Ciphr. You may not be looking for the highest level of security. But if security and privacy are high priority for you, consider Ciphr.

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