Stay safe when using online messaging platforms

Keeping your messages private and information secure is becoming a greater concern for online users.

Most people pick their messaging platform based on how many of their friends are using it, not by how secure their data and shared information will be. Of course, there are users who are more security conscious, preferring messaging apps with encrypted data.

To encourage the protection of personal information, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has established some guidelines to evaluate how secure your messaging application actually is.

The guidelines encourage users to ask important questions such as:

  • Are the messages encrypted in transit?
  • Can contacts and identities be verified?
  • Are past communications secure if keys are stolen?
  • Is the code open to independent review?
  • Is security design properly implemented?
  • Has the code been recently audited?

Unfortunately, popular applications like Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, and Snapchat tend to score low on security measures. They main their popularity by being widely adopted and easily accessible.

As more people become aware of data security concerns and online surveillance, the EFF provides resources to help people find secure alternatives. The organisation teaches Surveillance Self-Defense with a series of online tutorials, tips, and tools for safer online communications.

Even though nothing is 100 percent secure, it’s important to be aware of the steps your chosen messaging platform is taking to provide the highest level of security.