App Encryption: Is Your Data At Risk?

App Encryption: Is Your Data At Risk?

Many people today consider sending a text message to be easier and more convenient than making a phone call, but are those digital messages safe from prying eyes? If you use iMessage or have followed the locked iPhone drama in the San Bernardino terrorism case, you may be aware that iMessage uses end-to-end encryption, but this isn’t the norm among messaging apps or other data-heavy apps. Both Snapchat and Skype, for example, don’t offer message encryption and most Android phones don’t have any encryption software.

Due to a lack of encryption regulations, many apps leave your messages unprotected, which can be a serious problem if you’re using them for any professional communication – or just don’t want anyone peeking at your private chats. Luckily, iMessage isn’t your only option for safe communication.

With these apps, you can feel certain that your data is protected.

True Private Messaging: 7 Apps to Encrypt Your Chats - infographic
infographic courtesy of: Whoishostingthis.

Securing Your Google Ecosystem

Many people have a complete set of Google apps on their phones, including Gmail and Google Drive, because they allow you to keep all your important files on hand and share them with colleagues or friends. This is great news for professionals on the go…until you stop to consider that Google Drive doesn’t come with sufficient encryption to keep those files safe.

If you’re worried about files saved through Google falling into the wrong hands, you might want to consider a program that makes Google more secure. Consider this a must if you want to have mobile access to professional files on the go.

Check These Rankings

If you really want to know what apps will protect your messages, one thing you can do is check the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) rankings. The EFF issues a Secure Messaging Scorecard that ranks apps on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest. On this scale, both iMessage and Facetime, the standard Apple programs, rank at a solid 5.

A full 7 on the Secure Messaging Scorecard is fairly rare but attainable; one app that earned this commendation is the little-known app, Telegram. Though the basic form of Telegram comes in at a level 4, it also has secret chat features that earn a 7 because this level uses both server-client and client-client encryption.

The Self Destruct Option

For those seeking a specifically professional secure messaging option, Wickr may be just the thing you’re looking for. Wickr has two tiers, a generic chat option and a professional version for office use.

In addition to enabling encrypted messaging, Wickr allows users to exchange secure voice messages and self-destructing messages, similar to Snapchat. Instead of disappearing immediately after they’re opened, however, Wickr’s messages simply expire after a period of time.

A Good Coverall

Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that our phones contain a lot of data beyond our messaging and file storage apps and that data is also at risk when hackers strike. That’s why it’s worth looking into full system encryption with a program like AppDome.

What makes them unique is they place an emphasis on speed – they want users to be able to keep things safe without noticeably slowing down their system. And since the program is premised on abstract data encryption rather than individual file encryption, they deliver what they promise.

In an era in which data breaches and hackers can strike at any time, keeping your data safe should be a top priority – and that’s why you need encrypted messaging and device protection. While it can be an adjustment to stop approaching your mobile life with a “whatever’s easiest” mindset, taking steps to secure your data is necessary and ultimately worth the effort.
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