NOT all apps are created equal and one, in particular, is a breeding ground for hackers, an Apple expert claims.
If you love to use Facebook Messenger, then you may want to reconsider, according to Spylix CEO Steven Walker.
An impressive 1.3 billion people used Facebook Messenger each month in 2020 – with 146 million in the United States alone.
However, despite its popularity, the app is not as safe as users seem to believe, according to Walker.
“To the surprise of many, Facebook Messenger is one of the very few such applications that iPhone users should never install on their devices,” Walker said.
“It is so popular that people might not think of it as a problematic application.”
Facebook Messenger does not provide end-to-end encryption, meaning “anyone can keep track of the conversations between two people,” Walker added.
End-to-end Encryption scrambles messages and calls in transit so that only the sender and recipient can read them.
This also prevents hackers and third parties from accessing your data and any sensitive information you may share with a friend or family member.
What’s more, one study actually found that Facebook Messenger has one of the worst app designing software, enabling bad actors to easily hack it.
“So, considering the security issues, I would suggest not installing this,” Walker said.
“Instead, go for alternatives that provide better security options and end-to-end encryption.”
What are my options?
If you’re concerned about keeping your messages private, there are plenty of options to turn to.
Two of the most popular encrypted apps in the world are Meta-owned WhatsApp and Signal.
Cybersecurity expert Zak Doffman said in Forbes: “My current advice is for you to use WhatsApp as your daily messenger, given its scale, but to run Signal in parallel.”
What is Signal?
Signal is deemed to be the most secure digital communication method on the open market.
It gives users the option of being able to erase their own messages within a set period of time, from a week down to just five seconds.
In 2020, the Sun reported that members of the UK Government, including the Prime Minister, had signed up for Signal.
Disappearing messages are liked by senior Government figures because they help limit leaks.
However, if you don’t want to use Signal, then WhatsApp is a solid option.
How to make sure your WhatsApp texts are encrypted
If you do choose to download WhatsApp for encryption, then here’re some steps to make sure your chats are actually encrypted.
First, open your chat with someone and then tap on their name – this will open the contact info screen, where you can then choose Encryption.
You’ll be able to see a QR code and a 60-digit number.
If you’re with the other person, one of you can scan the other’s QR code.
Alternatively, you can visually compare the number on the screen.
If you use the scanning method, a green tick will appear to confirm encryption.
This “match” means no one can intercept your messages or calls.
If you’re far away from someone, you could simply send them the 60-digit number to verify.”
Chats that aren’t encrypted could mean you’re using a hacked version of WhatsApp, you’re verifying wrong, a chat with a person isn’t encrypted due to out-of-date software, or your phone has been compromised.
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