If you’re a WhatsApp user who has become wary of using the service after this update announcement, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are many great alternatives out there that promise to keep your data secure.
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Check out our list of the best WhatsApp alternatives for privacy and security in 2021 below.
Messaging Apps That Respect Your Privacy
- Signal – Signal Private Messenger was created by the same developers who created WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption feature, which was used to strengthen security. The main difference between Signal and WhatsApp is that Signal is an open-source system, which is safer. It also offers various security features to keep your data protected.
- Viber – This VoIP messaging app is one of the most popular services next to WhatsApp. Calls, messages, and shared media are all end-to-end encrypted on Viber, and you can even have video calls with up to 20 users and groups with up to 250.
- Telegram – Telegram is a messaging app that boasts a simple user interface and lots of extra features. They allow users to encrypt messages with the “secret chat” feature and also support self-destructing messages for added security.
- Wire – Developed by a Swiss company, this open-source messaging app boasts an aesthetically pleasing user interface and end-to-end encryption for audio, video, and chat. Additional features include independent audits that are made public, a self-destructing message option, and its own cloud facility for chat backups.
Other Ways to Stay Safe Online
Using a privacy-focused messaging app is just one way to keep your data secure. There are additional measures that you can take for optimal security as well – here are some of the best:
Use a Privacy-Focused Browser
Keep anonymous trackers at bay by browsing on a privacy-focused browser like Tor, DuckDuckGo, Firefox, or Opera. Each one offers features designed specifically with your privacy in mind, along with additional perks and benefits like ad blockers, pop-up blockers, and third-party tracking blockers.
Connect to a Virtual Private Network
Take charge of your online privacy with a VPN. If you are unfamiliar with what a VPN is, it is short for Virtual Private Network. Using one is hands down the best way to ensure your safety and security online. When you connect to the internet through a VPN, your IP address is masked and all outgoing and incoming data is funneled through a tunnel that encrypts everything that passes through it.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
When you’re on the go, a public Wi-Fi hotspot can seem like a beacon of hope if you need to connect to the internet for something. However, when you connect and browse on one of these connections, your online activity is at the mercy of whatever Wi-Fi provider the place is using, thus putting your data at potential risk of being exposed to anyone nearby if the connection is unencrypted.
There are a few ways to keep yourself safe should you encounter such a situation. Using a VPN will keep your data protected while connected to a public Wi-Fi. You can also turn your Wi-Fi browsing off so that you use data instead of a hotspot, and always avoid submitting financial details and other sensitive information over a public network.
With the internet being an essential part of daily life, it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on the apps, browsers, and other programs and platforms that are designed to keep your privacy protected. Follow the tips above so that you can browse and chat with peace of mind.