Secure Text Messaging

– By Dr. Gene Lloyd –

Why are you not using encrypted text messaging? So much sensitive data is sent through text messaging every day, and it is easily readable by anyone in your phone company, and anyone else with the right equipment. We all do it, we pass information that we shouldn’t across insecure phone lines all the time. Sometimes it’s thorough a voice call, sometimes it’s through a text message, and sometimes it’s through email. Most people are starting to realize the importance of encryption for sensitive files on their computers or smart phones, but that same level of encryption is also available for our text messaging and voice calls as well. And, are you ready for this? It’s FREE! The concept of encryption is a pretty simple one when you strip away the math. You are basically running some data through an algorithm to scramble it up so only the selected recipients can read it. That data can be anything. And the algorithms are not secret. All of the common ones are publicly known. This allows any organization the ability to create software that incorporates incredibly strong encryption standards for anyone to use. And open source applications have been thriving in this arena for several years, making free encryption software available for anyone who wants to use it. Now, that doesn’t mean you should just install anything, because those same open source developers can hide backdoors in the code, which totally defeats the purpose of using this technology. The best thing to do is look for software that has been independently tested and verified by software experts and has the source code available online for anyone to review. This is what I look for before I dive into a security focused application; especially a free one. All that being said, there are a few popular text messaging apps on the market that incorporate encryption; Signal and WhatsApp. They both incorporate encryption, but WhatsApp was flagged about a year ago with having some flaws that could allow others to snoop on the communication stream. We don’t want that. Signal, on the other hand, has so far stood up to all the tests and, as of now, is the best option for encrypted text messaging on smart devices. And it also has an encrypted voice call function built in, so you are not limited to short conversations or long strings of text messages. I’m sure you can think of many ways to use this technology, but if you need help, feel free to sign up below for a free consultation.

 

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