Is Signal safe? We asked experts about the messaging app and your data

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Changes to

WhatsApp’s privacy policy

drove millions of new users to privacy-first messaging app Bespeak in 2022. But, exactly how rubber is Signal?

The messaging app boasts features like stop-to-stop encryption, voice and video calls, group chats and even encrypted stickers. It’due south as well ad-free, costs naught to use and claims to have no ties to whatsoever major tech company.

Betoken has received praise from the likes of whistleblower Edward Snowden and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, but why do they trust it?

We’ve already looked at WhatsApp and Telegram. Now, we’ve reached out to security experts to larn more than about Bespeak, how information technology handles your data and whether y’all should be using information technology as your chief messaging app…

Is Point safety?

Indicate is safer than many messaging apps considering it uses finish-to-end encryption, which ensures that no one (not even Point) can intercept and read your messages.

Dissimilar Telegram, which also benefits from end-to-end encryption in its “undercover chats”, Signal has the feature enabled by default so you won’t have to accept whatsoever additional steps to get this extra layer of privacy.

“Signal is safe to apply, mainly considering it provides end-to-end encryption, which means messages are secured before they’re sent, and they are decrypted only once they arrive at the intended recipient’s device”, explained McAfee VP Antony Demetriades.

“Essentially, it encodes your message so that only the intended recipient’s device can unlock it”.

At that place are likewise options for users who don’t want to connect their Signal account with their personal phone number or iCloud history.

“While the platform requires your mobile number to sign upwardly, y’all tin can ready this up using a Google voice number, while Apple users can end their history from syncing with the cloud by turning off ‘show calls in recents’ in settings”, added Demetriades.

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Betoken vs other messaging apps

So, how does Signal compare to other popular messaging apps similar WhatsApp and Telegram?

“Out of the three apps, Signal has the all-time reputation for security and privacy using published encryption that has been thoroughly scrutinised and without any incentive to capture your personal information”, said Searchlight Security CTO and co-founder, Dr. Gareth Owenson.

“WhatsApp is rubber in that information technology uses the same secure encryption every bit Signal simply is owned by Facebook – a visitor which has historically monetised personal data (principally for advertising). WhatsApp has recently come under criticism for attempting to expand the amount of information shared with Facebook”.

Telegram has a more than trustworthy reputation than WhatsApp and offers more features than Signal, only this has earned the app some unsavoury users.

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“Telegram has a reputation every bit a secure messaging app only this is largely due to the feature set up it offers rather than the potent encryption”, explained Dr. Owenson.

“Research by Royal Holloway recently found vulnerabilities in the cryptography used by Telegram. Telegram is also popular corporeality darkweb criminals and other malicious actors due to its perceived security”.

Nonetheless, which app you pick will ultimately come down to what you demand from your messaging service.

“For the average person, all of the apps provide adequate security and they may prefer WhatsApp due to the number or their contacts who will employ information technology. For the truly paranoid, stick with Signal”.

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Betoken and your data

We’ve touched on how WhatsApp’s parent visitor Facebook (at present Meta) has a history of monetising personal information, but what about Signal?

According to our experts, there’due south little reason to be concerned about Signal sharing your data with other companies – especially when compared with the other messaging apps.

“WhatsApp and Telegram both have had a rocky relationship with user information”, said Tom Gaffney, Security Consultant at F-Secure.

“Both were implicated in the Snowden leaks and both have not provided evidence of contained code audit or security analysis. They take opaque terms related to data usage and in WhatsApp case, the parent company Facebook derives nearly of its money from using data it collects. Then from a privacy perspective admittedly not as safe as Bespeak”.

Gaffney wouldn’t recommend either app for private messaging over Point.

“Indicate on the other mitt is completely transparent in its operations relating to security and privacy and does not at all share or use data collected for commercial gain. It is widely respected in the security world”.

According to Bespeak itself, the company has no plans to be acquired by a major tech company either.

“Bespeak is an independent nonprofit. We’re not tied to any major tech companies, and we can never be acquired past one either. Development is supported by grants and donations from people like you”, the company states on its website.

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Should you move your chats to Signal?

Maybe the most important question is should you move all of your conversations and group chats to Signal – and the answer is complicated.

“Most people’southward pick in messaging app isn’t based on which app is best; we choose to utilise messaging apps considering our friends and other contacts use them”, said privacy abet at Comparitech, Paul Bischoff.

“Yes, Signal would be a security improvement for everyone, but the network event prevents mass adoption”.

Duncan Brown, VP of European Enterprise Research at IDC, shared a similar sentiment.

“You lot tin can do, merely be ware of the relatively low number of users. So yous’ll have to convince your contacts to download and use Signal if that’s your preferred messaging app. Merely if you are looking for a high level of security then Betoken is perfect for this”, said Brown.

If you’re willing to put the work in to convince your friends and family unit to jump apps, Point is an piece of cake choice to anyone concerned about their data.

“If you lot’re interested in privacy, and so Signal is the app for you”, said Demitriades.

“It’s biggest appeal for many users is cease-to-end encryption which ensures no 1 other than the sender and receiver’s device tin admission the information, whether that be governments, hackers, individuals or Signal itself”.


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