10 Best Secure and Private Messaging Apps for Android & iPhone

It is easy to understand why more and more people are searching for secure and private messaging apps. Data privacy & security is a matter of concern in the current world given to the preceding scandals that have already taken place. Governments crave for our privacy, companies seek access to it, and cybercriminals probably want it the most.

If you are looking for some encrypted private messaging app, we have handpicked 10 of reliable private messaging app for iPhone and Android for you.

Private Messaging Apps

What Makes a Messaging App Secure and Private

First of all, we need to know what makes a messaging app secure and private. Then, we can find and evaluate if the messaging app we are using is secure. Here are some most important aspects to qualify an application to be a secure messaging app.

1.     End-to-end encryption

The main thing to check for when choosing a messaging app is whether or not it uses end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption means your private chat messages are scrambled, and only the sender and the receiver of the messages have the “keys” to read them.  If an app is not end-to-end encrypted, deem it non-private. 

2.    Default Encryption Settings

Even if a message app offers end-to-end encryption, it doesn’t mean that it’s the default setting. Sometimes you need to turn on the encryption feature by yourself. For example, Telegram is such an app.

3.     Data Collection

While many messaging apps today have started using end-to-end encryption, some still collect data information about you, called metadata. Metadata is kind of like your electronic fingerprint, and includes data such as who you talk to (via your contacts list), for how long, and at what time, as well as information about the device you use, your IP address, phone number, and more.

4.     Open Source Code

Open source code opens the app up to outside accountability and auditing by experts, which can be a useful way to bring attention to any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the code. It is a useful way to guarantee your privacy won’t be stolen by others.

10 Best Apps for Secure and Private Messaging

1.     Signal – Private Messenger

Signal is the most popular encrypted messaging app. Signal is end-to-end encrypted, open source, and completely free of charge. It allows you to create disappearing messages (a.k.a. self-destructing messages), has successfully completed third-party audits, and also publishes Transparency Reports.

Major Security Features:

  • Open-source cryptographic protocols
  • Renders audio call back up
  • Servers do not store messages
  • Does not log IP Addresses
  • Encrypted group creation is possible for private conversations

Major Messaging Features:

  • Messages are delivered quickly and reliably, even on slow networks.
  • Signal is a completely independent 501c3 nonprofit.
  • Use the built-in image editing features to sketch, crop, and flip your outgoing photos.
  • Whether they live across town or across the ocean, Signal’s enhanced audio and video quality will make your friends and family feel closer.
Signal

2.     Telegram

Telegram is a VoIP and instant messaging app that is cloud-based and is available on mobile devices and computers. Similar to other messaging apps, Telegram offers end-to-end encryption as well, being considered one of the most secure messaging platforms. Everything on Telegram, including chats, groups, media, etc. is encrypted using a combination of 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end (E2E) encryption (only for voice calls and Secret Chats)
  • Self-destructing messages
  • Supports Two-Step Verification
  • Open source apps and Telegram Database Library

Major Messaging Features:

  • Unrestricted file-sharing & messaging
  • There are video & photo editing tools
  • Offers complete support for manifold accounts
  • Users can be logged in on multiple devices simultaneously
Telegram

3.     Wickr Me – Private Messenger

Wickr is another secure messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption. It was created in 2012 by a group of security experts and privacy advocates. This app is open source and doesn’t require a phone number or email address to register.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end (E2E) encryption
  • No phone number or email address is required to register on Wickr Me
  • Wickr does not store any metadata associated with your communications
  • Shredder – overwrites all deleted Wickr content on your device
  • Open source code for transparency and audit by the crypto community and open for audit

Major Messaging Features:

  • Ephemeral messages and attachments
  • Burn-On-Read messages and attachments
  • It comes with a configurable expiration clock
  • Private group options with up to 10 users limit
Wickr Me

4.     Threema

Threema is one of the less well-known secure and private messaging apps. With around 5 million users and over 8 years on the market, it is a mature, powerful product that somehow never gained a massive following like Telegram, or widespread fame like Signal. 

My favorite part is that you can use Threema totally anonymously.  Unless you choose to link the app to an email address or phone number, the only way to identify a user is through a randomly generated ID that has no connection to any user-identifiable data. 

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end (E2E) encryption
  • NaCl open source encryption
  • No IP Addresses or metadata logging
  • Anonymous messaging; no telephone number or email address needed

Major Messaging Features:

  • Write text and send voice messages
  • Make voice and video calls
  • Share videos, pictures and locations
  • Send any type of file (pdf, animated gif, mp3, doc, zip, etc.)
Threema

5.     Dust

Formerly known as Cyber Dust, Mark Cuban’s brainchild messaging app Dust is a cool secure messaging app. The main purpose of the app is to send private messages (or photos and videos) called “Dusts” to your contacts that “turn to dust” and disappear within 100 seconds of being read. “Blasts” are another type of message that can be sent to a group of people, but are read privately.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end encrypted
  • Self-destruct message
  • Detects and notifies you if a screenshot is taken.
  • Not only are your messages not permanently saved on your phone or the company’s servers, you can also erase your messages off of other people’s devices.

Major Messaging Features:

  • Texting and sharing photos with friends, family and colleagues
  • Unsend any message, anytime
  • Users can add a desirable number of people to group chats
Cyber Dust

6.     Wire

Wire is another one of the very few apps that sets end-to-end encryption as the default to protect your messages, images, and files. Wire’s encryption works transparently in the background and does not need to be activated because it is always on.

Wire allows your team to communicate and share information easily and securely – messages, files, conference calls or private conversations – always in context. It is available on any device and operating system – so your team can collaborate whether in the office or on the road.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end (E2E) encryption
  • Self-destructing messages
  • Independently audited & open-source
  • Published transparency reports

Major Messaging Features:

  • Communicate with your teams through private or group conversations
  • Share and collaborate with files, documents, links with reactions
  • Press the one-click conference call button and your voice or video meetings starts on time
  • Invite partners, customers and suppliers to collaborate through the unique guest rooms
Wire

7.     CoverMe 

CoverMe offers privacy options for both texts and calls. You can send self-destructing messages, remotely wipe the messages you sent to others, and even make encrypted voice calls, without any records on your phone bill.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end encrypt all conversations
  • Self-destruction of messages possible
  • Shake to hide and lock personal text messages
  • Remote wiping of messages sent to contacts is possible
  • Secret call making possible from private numbers

Major Messaging Features:

  • Private vault feature to hide your content
  • Send disappearing texts and recall sent texts
  • Users can disguise the application as a news reading application

8.     iMessage

Apple’s iMessage service offers not only end-to-end encryption but also allows messages that will expire after a set time or can only be read a limited number of times. These are great security features for limiting the exposure of any sensitive information that you might want to send – for example if you need to send your bank details to a family member you can have the message automatically delete itself after they have read it.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Self-destructing messages
  • iMessages deleted from servers

Major Messaging Features:

  • Mute notifications or leave group chats
  • Block phone numbers and contacts
  • Backup iMessages through iCloud
  • Customization of message profile/personality with GIFs, animations and Memojis
iMessage

9.     Viber

When it launched its 6.0 version, Viber also rolled out end-to-end encryption, providing more safety for its users. The app enables encryption by default so you won’t need to worry about anyone snooping while your messages and calls head off to their destination.

In addition to its Secret Chats feature (which makes messages disappear after a set time), Viber also lets you manually delete messages you’ve sent – from your own phone and also from the phones of the people you’ve sent it to. 

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end (E2E) encryption
  • Secret chats come with self-destruction feature
  • Trusted Contacts verify identities of who you’re chatting with by exchanging secret keys

Major Messaging Features:

  • Syncs seamlessly with tablets & desktops
  • Create a Viber community with manifold members
  • Users can get hold of numerous stickers & GIFs
  • Option to enhance your regular conversation with Chat Extensions
Viber

10.WhatsApp

Since 2016, WhatsApp has enabled and implemented end-to-end encryption, so users can enjoy a more secure communication. With more than 1.5 billion users, the platform is the most used messaging app.

However, WhatsApp may be encrypting your messages, but you should know that WhatsApp collects metadata about every user, which can be exploited by Facebook and/or handed over to government agencies. This data includes your name, IP address, mobile number, location history, cell network, contacts, and device type.

Major Security Features:

  • End-to-end (E2E) encryption
  • Supports Two-Step Verification
  • Uses Signal protocol

Major Messaging Features:

  • A group calling & texting possible
  • Facilitates numerous multimedia files on the platform
  • It is compatible with both desktop & Smartphone
WhatsApp

Most Secure Messaging App?

After analyzing and comparing these 10 secure and private messaging apps, we think Signal is your best bet, in terms of reach, security, and privacy-enabled features. It is end-to-end encrypted, 100% open source and they are funded by donations and grants instead of corporate money that is dependent on user- data. 

What’s your opinion? If you have any encrypted messaging apps that should be on this list to add, do let us know, or leave a comment below, and we’ll be happy to include them.

admin
  • admin
  • I'm Lois, the creator of Appreview360.com. I hope this app review website can help people easily discover cool and useful apps. If you are an app developer or own an app and want to get it in front of the right audience, you can contact us. If you want to introduce some cool apps to more people, you can write for us.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *