Text messaging is one of the most popular forms of communication today. Signal is a full-featured, easy to use messaging app that is one of the best around. Unlike WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or basicSMS, Signal additional cost beside your cellular data plan, is very secure, and doesn’t track and monetize you as a user.
Anyone who uses messaging apps would benefit from using Signal – it’s every bit as good as the competition, but more secure and privacy-respecting. Signal is a superb tool for messaging, particularly when security is a priority. For any organization concerned about privacy, switching to Signal can remove one of the biggest threat vectors that many face. Your counterparts may not be using Signal, but perhaps a nudge from you will help them make the leap.
Signal is a powerful, popular, and easy-to-use messaging application enabling end-to-end encrypted individual and group texting, phone calls, and video calls, as well as secure file transfers up to certain limits. Signal is used by over 50 million people worldwide and has proven itself as a stable, effective tool over its six years. Signal has as many features as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other popular messenger programs – but being controlled by a non-profit foundation, there are far fewer incentives for those running the platform to monetize your information or steal your data.
Signal is built from the ground up with security in mind, making it an excellent choice for those at greater risk. The downside with Signal is that, as with any messaging platform, anyone with whom you want to communicate must also be using the same platform, and your partners may not be – encourage them to try it! While Signal is easy, powerful and effective, you do not need to switch all conversations to it. Consider moving certain discussions, topics, or individuals that are subject to higher risks to Signal and maintaining the others where they are.
Signal is a free download on all major platforms. As free, open source software, the code that powers Signal is also available for download. For those able, donations to the Signal Foundation help pay for costs associated with the system.
Signal is as easy to use as other common messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
There is a comprehensive help website available at https://support.signal.org/hc/; paid support is not available, but should not be necessary.
Be sure to apply updates whenever they come out.
Signal has been engineered from the beginning with an emphasis on security. Every form of communication – messages and audio or video calls – is end-to-end encrypted, including group chats and calls. The effectiveness of Signal Protocol, the app’s encryption engine, is demonstrated by the fact that it has been adopted by WhatsApp for their end-to-end encryption (though WhatsApp lacks many other security features and is run by Meta, a for-profit company.) Signal servers retain minimal logs and metadata, providing little information that can be captured by government legal requests.
Signal has many other security features that can be turned on, including disappearing messages and methods for validating the identity of people with whom you are communicating.
In some contexts, simply having an app known to be particularly secure on your phone can be seen as subversive.
If someone has access to your phone, or those with whom you are communicating, they will be able to see any messages still on the phone. If this is a risk, be sure to enable disappearing messages.