As our society becomes more and more reliant on technology, unfortunately, many dubious individuals and governmental entities have been taking advantage of this, by perpetuating cyber related crimes such as identity theft and by implementing government programs such as prism which aims to conduct cyber related surveillance for what some may consider to be good and bad intentions.
The reality of the fact is that as identity theft is at a milestone high, and many people are being prosecuting for voicing their opinions in certain countries, the need for encrypted communication could never be higher.
While there’s an abundance of software that can be utilized to increase your privacy such as Tor, when it comes to browsing the internet and Tormail when it comes to sending encrypted emails, until the unveiling of the Telegram Messenger App, never before have smartphone users had the opportunity to send encrypted messages through their handheld device.
What Is Telegram Messenger?
Telegram is a cross platform messaging app that allows its users to exchange encrypted photos, videos, messages and documents. Available for Android, IOS and for the Windows Phone, this messenger offers the standard features that you would find within a traditional messaging App, but stands out amongst them with it comes to being able to self destruct messages, block the option of allowing the recipient to forward your messages and an option of initiating what’s known as “secret chat”, which essentially ensures that no trace of your sent and received messages will be left on their servers.
How Does its Encryption Feature Work?
The user interface is very similar to that of WhatsApp, upon verification of your phone number via pin code, you’ll instantly be able to see other people within your contact list that has the App installed already. From that point you can see the profile information of your chat partners such as: last seen status, cell phone number, profile picture and an option to setup a custom notification for that specific user. When it comes to sending encrypted messages, the user has an option to enable the “Start Secret Chat” feature, which enables end-to end encryption.
From that point on, your data will be encrypted on the server side so that no logs will be kept, and it will continue to be encrypted as it travels from the server to the receiver’s end. Another interesting aspect of Telegram’s encryption feature is the option of being able to setup a self destruct timer, by doing this, not only are the messages never cached, they will be irrevocably destroyed on both devices, once the custom self-destruct timer runs out which you can set for as little as 2 seconds or for as long as 2 weeks.
What’s also interesting about this App, is that the developers were so confident about the security of their app, that they hosted a contest and proclaimed that they would give $200,000 to anyone that could hack Telegram, a contest that no one was able to win.
Some of the other interesting features of this is app is that users will be able to:
* Transmit messages faster than any other application.
* Access messages from multiple devices through cloud based services.
* Never have to worry about GB limit on the size of shared media or chats.
* Able to chat with as many as 200 people in a single chat session.
* Store media, anonymously in the cloud.
If you are concerned about your privacy or if you have to send sensitive information through your smartphone, I firmly believe that you should try this fast and secure free download IM app. As hackers becomes more and more capable of infiltrating our handheld-devices and accessing personal information (as demonstrated in the last couple of months, where the nude photos of celebrities were leaked) that the need for encryption will increase.
Although this App is relatively new, its method of encryption is not and will serve to be a father of a new era of Apps that aim to enhance communication privacy via advanced encryption.