5 Features that should be standard in secure messaging apps

While many messaging apps are available, not all provide the necessary tools to protect our privacy and data. What features should we look for in a secure messaging app? Here are essential features that should be standard in any messaging app concerned with user security and privacy: 

  1. Robust encryption protocols

Encryption is converting data into a secret code that can only be accessed by authorized sindividuals. It is a fundamental aspect of secure communication. Although end-to-end encryption is considered the gold standard for secure messaging, other protocols offer strong security. Look for apps with robust encryption algorithms to protect your messages during transit. This ensures that even if someone intercepts your messages, they will be unreadable without the correct decryption keys. Encryption also extends to any files, images, or documents you share, protecting your sensitive information from prying eyes. 

  1. Device-specific security

Each device you use, whether your phone, tablet, or computer, should have its own layer of security within the messaging app. This means the app should create unique encryption keys for each device, ensuring your messages stay secure on any device you use. The app should offer features like remote data wiping, which lets you delete all your messages and data from a lost or stolen device. This way, your information remains safe even if your device falls into the wrong hands. 

  1. Secure backup and sync

Backing up and syncing your messages across devices can be convenient, but it poses a security risk if not done correctly. Look for apps offering encrypted backup options, ensuring your message history remains secure even when stored in the cloud or external servers. Some apps might also offer local backup options, enabling you to store your data offline and maintain control over it. This way, you can restore your messages without compromising your privacy. 

  1. Discreet notifications and alerts

While receiving notifications and alerts for news is convenient, these reveal sensitive information to prying eyes. A secure messaging app should offer discreet notification options, such as hiding message previews or sender information on lock screens. The app should provide customizable alert sounds, vibration patterns, or the ability to turn off notifications entirely for specific conversations or contacts. This gives you greater control over your privacy and helps keep your communications confidential. 

  1. Online notes and message editing

The ability to edit sent messages is a handy feature, especially when you realize you made a typo or shared incorrect information. Secure messaging apps should allow you to edit your messages even after they’ve been sent, ensuring you maintain accuracy without resending corrected messages. Online notes are valuable for sharing information you want to keep separate from regular conversations. Both parties access these notes but remain distinct from the chat history, providing a secure space for sensitive details or shared references. 

Choosing a messaging app with these features gives you greater peace of mind, knowing that your private conversations and data are protected from unauthorized access. As digital security threats evolve, staying informed about the latest security practices and adopting secure messaging apps will help keep your digital life safe and secure.