In an era plagued by heavy surveillance, malicious hackers, data theft, and viruses, privacy is a more pressing concern than ever.
Find a Service That Puts Privacy First
The key to keeping your information private is finding a reputable service to utilize. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the digital rights of the public. They’ve compiled a list of criteria that can help you determine the safety of a communication app prior to using it. To err on the side of safety, it’s ideal to use apps that meet at least six of the following guidelines:
- The data should be encrypted in transit
- The data should be encrypted to the extent that even service providers can’t recognize it.
- The data should conceal the identity of all contacts
- The provider utilizes perfect forward secrecy, which refers to a secure communication protocol that protects passwords even if they’re stolen
- The service utilizes an open-source code that can be analyzed and reviewed by the public
- All of the procedures used by the service regarding the cryptographic implementations are meticulously documented
- The service receives at least one independent audit every 12 months to assess security.
The EFF created this list to help consumers determine which communication apps offer the best protection from both criminal hackers and government surveillance.
Communication Apps That Meet EFF Guidelines
For a novice, identifying the EFF guidelines in apps can be confusing. Fortunately, Kaspersky has done the work for you. Here are some of the leading apps that have managed to conform to six or more of the EFF security recommendations.
Their name isn’t false advertising. In fact, Chatsecure offers some of the best security of all communication apps available. It’s free to the public, open-source, and encrypted to ensure the highest level of privacy. It’s ideal to use it in conjunction with Tor-powered Orbot privacy plugin, which adds an additional layer of security.
CryptoCat is yet another app that’s passed the EFF test of approval. Meeting all seven guidelines, CryptoCat is an open-source and encrypted messaging system that will keep unwanted eyes out of your conversations. It’s currently available on Mac OS X operating systems and iPhones as well as Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Opera web browsers.
Mailvelope is a popular communication app that assists people with sending encrypted emails. Though not quite as safe as Chatsecure or CryptoCat, it meets six out of seven EFF standards and you can find it here
With so many privacy concerns to worry about, utilizing communication apps can be daunting. Nobody wants to be the victim of a cybercrime or government surveillance, and yet, as technology breaches rise, many worry their data is at risk. Fortunately, by exercising a bit of forethought and scrutiny, you can find communication apps that make your privacy a priority. Learn more about keeping your app usage safe.
Read also: Stay Safe: The 5 Best Password Managers