Things to Remember When Using Secure Messaging Apps

man using secure messaging app on his phone

Messaging in Our Daily Lives

Everyday, we use messaging apps like EyesUP to communicate with friends and loved ones but we don’t always realize how many eavesdroppers there may be. Those eavesdroppers may include other people around us, those who can borrow our phones, internet service providers, government agencies, and hackers.

So what are the general things to remember whenever you are having a conversation using secure messaging apps?

Meaning of Encryption

Encryption is the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. An authorized recipient can easily decrypt the message with the key provided by the originator to recipients but not to unauthorized users. It is a complex form of sending and receiving information using codes.

Purpose of Keys in Encryption

A key is a piece of information also known as a parameter that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm. It specifies how the transformation process will be done from plaintext into ciphertext. In order to access these keys, the sender(s) and reciever(s) must use the same app or software.

Type of Keys

Symmetric-key algorithms use the same keys for both encryption and decryption. The keys may be identical or there may be a simple transformation to switch between the two states. It acts as a shared secret between two or more parties that can be used to send private information and cannot be read by anyone without a copy of the key.

On the other hand, asymmetrical-key algorithms, also known as public key cryptography, use a pair of keys for every party: public keys which are published openly, and private keys, which are never revealed. You may have seen this if you’ve set up an SSH (secure shell) login in your terminal before. This method accomplishes two things: encryption/decryption between parties, and authentication of a message’s sender.

Types of Encryption

There are four main types of encryption available on the market: AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), 3DES (Triple Data Encryption Standard), Twofish and RSA (named after Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adelman). Aside from these, there are also many other additional encryption methods available. Using the most secure ones ensures your confidential data stays secure and away from unwanted eyes. So research well and find which app perfectly suits your privacy needs.

Main Reasons for Encrypting Messages

Secure messaging apps protect your personal conversations from the prying eyes of those who would monitor your activities. Encryption gives the assurance that only the intended recipient(s) can read your messages and vice versa. It is a vital tool for witnesses to safely present their evidences against someone or for a reliable source to give the latest scoop.

More messaging apps such as EyesUP are planning to have encryption as part of their standard features in the future. In the meantime, there are a lot of secure messaging apps available for download. Study each pros and cons then use what you think is best for your safety.

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