Signal and Telegram are considered more reliable and secure in terms of protecting user privacy. But according to cybersecurity expert Zak Doffman, nothing is really reliable, at least until the user changes some security settings when using all three apps. Thus quoted from Entrepreneurs , Friday (29/1/2021).
This privacy setting change is to ensure that user information can be better protected when using WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal.
Here are privacy tips for individual messaging apps, which users need to apply:
On WhatsApp, private and group messages are equipped with end-to-end encryption and only users can access the content of messages.
But according to Doffman, the problem lies in metadata, namely who, when and where in relation to messages, as well as the user’s contact and information about the device.
“WhatsApp can still be used, but it is important to change the configuration to keep it safe,” said Doffman.
– Users should avoid receiving malicious content.
For example, make sure not to click any links or attachments of unknown origin.
– Deactivate the auto-save option of images received to the phone gallery.
How to do that? Just open Settings – Storage and Data ( Storage and Data ) – Automatic media download , select the option No Media for each option.
– Use a PIN number, then activate two-step verification
This can prevent outsiders from fraudulently hijacking your account.
How: Enter Settings – Account – Two Step Verification and select and follow the options when enabling this setting.
– Turn off backup
Messages are encrypted as they are sent, but when the user uses the backup option on WhatsApp, your chat history will be uploaded to Apple or Google Cloud.
Now, this copy is not encrypted, so it’s better not to back it up.
When a user accesses Telegram for the first time, the user must enter a phone number.
Telegram will ask the user to enter a confirmation via message sent via SMS. The problem is, when someone steals the code, the user account can be read, including the content in it.
For that, if you want to be safe using Telegram, the following are recommended:
– Enable Two-step-verification (2FA)
The trick is to enter Settings – Privacy and Security – add a Password
– Change privacy settings
In the privacy settings, select the option “only contacts” who can communicate with you, while people whose names are not in your contact list, cannot send chat to you.
Users can also limit who can see their profile, last online status, and who can add our contacts to the group.
– Use lock code
It is important to ensure that our chat is not accessed by anyone, for that Telegram users need to activate a lock code.
It’s easy: go to Settings – select Privacy and Security – select Passcode Lock – enter the lock code.
– Check your account’s active sessions regularly
You need to know, Telegram users are free to enter their accounts on various devices. I personally enter my Telegram account to one smartphone , one tablet and one computer.
Well, these three logins (active sessions) can be seen in Settings – Privacy and Security – Active Session .
Here you can recognize if there is a login using a device that you have never used. You can also end the active session.
– Secret chat and end-to-end encryption
Telegram offers secret chat which protects the chat from one device to another. This option is not available for groups.
To start secret chat , enter normal chat with your chosen contact, click on the three dots on Android or ‘ more ‘ on iOS then select ‘ start secret chat ‘.
– Enable messages that can be deleted automatically
One of the interesting things about the Telegram application is the presence of a message option that can be deleted automatically, shortly after being deleted.
The privacy settings in Signal are somewhat similar to Telegram’s. Here’s what a user can do:
– Enable registration lock
Registration lock will prevent other people from having access to the user’s conversation history, if your account is stolen or hijacked.
The trick is to open Settings – select Privacy – at the very bottom look for Registration Lock – activate it.
– Set screen lock
You can set the Signal lock screen according to the smartphone lock screen , either using biometrics or a passcode .
You can also set how long before the screen lock is activated.
– Turn off previews
With this, the message will not appear on the main screen of the device
How: open Settings – select Notification – select Show , you can choose to display names and messages, only names, or no names and messages appear in the notification.
– Disable screenshots
Users can enable the optional grounding ( block ) screenshots in the app.
So when using Signal, users cannot take screenshots in this application, both chat and contact lists.
– Make Signal the default messaging app
Doffman said this trick can be used by Android users, because messaging will be more secure and encrypted. While the default SMS is not equipped with encryption.