Signal: How does the highly encrypted messaging app function?

Signal even has separate encryption for sticker packs.

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Ever since Whatsapp released its new privacy policy – one that grants users no options other than handing out their data to Facebook, or leaving, many activists and users have voiced their objections and concerns. It is even discovered that the data-sharing has been taking place for years!

In turn, literally millions have switched to the more protected option ‘Signal’. This was catalyzed by Elon Musk’s tweet, telling people to “use signal”.

So what is Signal? How does it function? Let’s find out;

Signal is a privacy-conscious messaging and voice and video calling app. It operates on both Apple and Android cellphones, as well as desktops.  Users can join the platform using a phone number. It offers features such as individual and group texting and calling and is very similar to Whatsapp in features such as emoji reactions, and stickers.

However, the key difference is that Signal is very protective of data privacy.

So how secure is Signal, really?

Did you know that Signal is behind the encryption protocol that other apps including Whatsapp and Skype use? The messaging app evidently values data protection and contains end-to-end encryption for messaging. In simpler terms, this means that the messages you would send could be only be read by you and the one(s) you send them to.

And it does not end there, Signal even has separate encryption for sticker packs.

Besides, end-to-end encryption, Signal also has disappearing messages, which vanish after a customizable time period. The app does not gather any data concerning its users, except the initial phone numbers, and to get around it’s considering encrypted contact servers.

Why doesn’t Signal collect any data?

The truth is that Signal has no use for its users’ data. It is a not-for-profit company and does not run advertising on the platform. Therefore, data is not needed. It is instead financed by private investors, one of whom takes an interest in creating a private platform.

The app was founded by a group of privacy advocates back in 2013 and has expanded recently. Brian Acton, the Whatsapp founder donated $50 million to establish the Signal Foundation that now operates Signal. Acton had the goal to create an extremely privacy-focused messaging platform after he left Facebook because it was eliminating Whatsapp’s privacy standards.

What’s so unique about Signal?

While Whatsapp and Signal use the same encryption for their messages, Whatsapp users’ data is susceptible to Facebook as it tracks usage statistics, metadata, and more. And there is no way to elude that anymore.

This is not the case with Signal, which although does not have many diverse layout features like backgrounds, prioritizes user privacy above all.

It has also limited the number of people that can join a group to 1000, checking the sharing of inappropriate content to a certain extent. This is unlike the app Telegram, whose groups are notorious for illegal content.

Where can you download Signal?

Signal is downloadable on the Apple App Store, along with the Google Play Store. You can find it very easily as it currently has made it to the top of Free Apps on both platforms.

What are your views on this? Share in the comments bar below.


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