Security of Correspondence in Messengers: How to Hide Your Messages from Unwanted Persons?
The transmission of information through instant messengers has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Messengers allow you to quickly and easily interact with each other on a variety of issues: work, education, entertainment, personal contacts.
The functions of modern instant messengers have long gone beyond the usual exchange of messages, photos, videos. We can make audio and video calls, shop, pay for utilities, get help & information, order food, taxis, tickets, and even transfer files from PC to PC.
Ensuring the Security of Messengers
In the consumer market, end-to-end encryption (E2ЕE) of data by default is a key criterion for ensuring the security of user information. The technology assumes that the messenger stores encryption keys only on the user’s device, without sending them to the server. The second criterion is a strong encryption protocol. Some companies have developed encryption technologies that are not audited, so it is difficult to assess the level of security of these messengers.
How to Prevent Strangers from Accessing Your Correspondence
According to experts, there are no applications with a 100% guarantee of personal information protection. For any mechanism, there is one factor that devalues the most reliable protection. Sometimes it can be pressure from the authorities, and sometimes it is low-quality program code with pre-made flaws. There are additional software features:
- Several instant messengers enable users to access information about the place, time and device on which the user’s account was logged in.
- Some instant messengers allow you to additionally set a pin-code and the ability to authorize via a fingerprint.
- The user can independently monitor the sessions of access to the account and identify cases of unauthorized access, in the event of which it is better to reinstall the messenger by changing the password.
However, to ensure the security of your personal information, first of all, you should always follow the rules of digital hygiene, including periodically changing your password, using different passwords for different programs, as well as careful attention to indicating sensitive data in correspondence, for example, payment card numbers and other confidential information.
If you need to use a particular messenger that does not support end-to-end encryption as securely as possible, the only working and proven option is to use PGP encryption. It is a special program and library of functions that allows you to not only encrypt text but also digitally sign files and data.
PGP encrypted data is the text that can be sent in a messenger, by mail, printed on a printer, and transmitted in person. Neither the administrators of the messenger nor the intruders will be able to view the contents of your correspondence.
However, you need to remember about the metadata: they still have access to the list of interlocutors, the time of sending messages, and the IP address, which can be used to establish your location accurately.
Thus, in this article, we figured out how you can protect your data while using instant messengers. However, each person can take care of the most basic measures to protect the confidentiality of data during correspondence.