The security of smartphones and encrypted communications are the main themes of these days, thanks to the battle between Apple and the FBI by hacking the iPhone used by one of the attackers shooting in San Bernardino, California.
This case raises questions about the means available to users to protect their mobile data, why are targeted many applications that promise to increase the level of safety of emails, and other forms of communication.
On Tuesday, WhatsApp, the messaging application used by more than one billion people in the world, extended its encryption point to point to pictures, videos and group chats are protected, which ensures that only the recipient communications can read. Previously, only text messages sent and received among whom were protected.
Signal, one of the most popular applications private messaging, is free and on platforms iOS and Android. Its developers promoted with the slogan “Privacy is possible,” and using point to point encryption. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, gave its encryption and privacy protections high marks.
Signal users can send secure messages and make calls in line with your current phone number, without having to set up an account. The application is very friendly, with large icons and controls, as well as incorporating a size easy-to-read text.
In order to communicate, both parties must have Signal. And to have an extra level of protection (which takes some getting used to), the partners were shown a couple of random words to verify that the other user is the right person. The technique makes us think of spy movies, but is a strong reminder that you are safe.
Threema offers a similar service but with more options. It also has encryption in all its phases, which applies to communications as text messages, files and images sent through the service. You do not have the option to call online, but users can send voice messages. Both the sender and recipient must have installed Threema.
Additionally, Threema allows users to hold group discussions and ask questions to all members. No need to open an account to use the application because each user is assigned a random ID is not necessarily connected to an email or phone number. This application costs three dollars and is available on the iOS and Android systems. Windows Phone cost is two dollars.
I Wickr is free on iOS and Android, and became a celebrity among such applications because it was part of a music video of Iggy Azalea. It also has fun touches that include the ability to add stickers, graffiti and filters to your photos.
But Wickr Me is a secure messaging application. Users can set an expiration time for messages, and provides encryption for voice, text and video. The function of “self-destruction” promises safely delete all deleted messages and content from your device.
You also have the option of using it anonymously, so neither its creators know who the users are; also it provides encryption for voice, text and video.
For a more traditional secure email, ProtonMail test. No cost on iOS and Android and has the appearance of a normal application … except that all messages sent and received through it are encrypted. When you sign up for a free account, it emphasizes that, if you forget your password, there is no way to recover your emails is done.
The purpose of the application is to send secure emails, so ProtonMail is not the most sophisticated application in the world, but is easy to use. It works best when the sender and recipient have ProtonMail, but there is a way to send encrypted from the application for directions normal mail messages.
All these systems increase the encryption may already be included in your device. Worth checking the settings of your phone to become familiar with their privacy and security features.
Some apps can be used for criminal purposes, which explains why many of them ask for registration which are not involved in any illegal activity. It is good to remember that there is no perfect security, especially if the phone is lost.