Secure End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) messages mean that only you and your recipient’s devices can see the messages you send to each other. But only some of the most popular online messaging services fully support this.

Every message sent over the network from a site using HTTPS takes advantage of TLS (Transport Layer Security), which encrypts the data (your message in this case) during transmission; that is, when it is sent between your computer and the server on the other end and from the server to you.

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However, the message is decrypted when it reaches the server, which means that the server and anyone who has access to its administrative functions can potentially read your messages. This means that staff and contractors working with the administrative tools of the service, anyone with sufficient authority in each country where the relevant servers are hosted, may require the transmission of your messages and anyone who has illegal access to the company’s systems may gain access and download your calls.

If a service uses end-to-end encryption, the message decryption keys are held only by the participants in the conversation, so the messages themselves cannot be read by anyone until they reach your device.

This means that the only potential weak link in your security and privacy is the security of the device you use to send these encrypted messages from end to end. Below you can find a quick guide detailing which common messaging services are encrypted from end to end.

Signal

Signal messages are encrypted from end to end using the Signal protocol. The service requires your phone number to create an account, and you need to share it with the users you want to chat with. Additional devices must be connected to the phone application. Group chats, voice, video calls are encrypted. The signal is protected.

element

Created on the basis of open source The matrix communication standard, conversations between individual Element users are strong encrypted per device. This means that if you log in to Element using your computer and phone, everyone will use unique encryption keys.

Public group chats are not encrypted, they are private. You do not need to use a phone number to connect to Element accounts. The item is protected.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is also encrypted from end to end using Signal protocol and requires your phone number to create an account. You will also need to share it with other users you want to chat with. Additional devices must be connected to the phone application. Group chats, voice, video calls are encrypted.

If the message in WhatsApp is reported, the last five messages you send to the group or user are passed to WhatsApp moderators. WhatsApp is secure.

Viber

Since the release of version 6 in 2016, Viber has been supporting from end to end encryption for all messages, on all platforms. Both individual and group chats are encrypted, except for public channels and communities, bots and business messages. Voice and video calls are also encrypted. Viber is protected.

telegram

End-to-end encryption is optional and is only activated when you activate a Secret chat. Group chats cannot be encrypted.

Facebook Messenger

End-to-end encryption is optional and is only allowed in secret conversations with one or more people you have to create manually. They only work on Android and iOS.

Not all Facebook chats can be encrypted. Those who do not benefit from E2EE include chats related to Facebook groups, exchanges with companies, Marketplace vendors, and unspecified “others.”

If a message in an encrypted conversation is reported by one of the participants, the 30 most recent messages can be accessed by Facebook employees for 30 days. Missing messages will be prevented from deleting Facebook’s servers if they are reported within six hours.

Instagram Direct Messenger

From end to end encryption can optional activated to chat with another Instagram user.

Skype

Skype does not support end-to-end encryption by default, but you can enable it Private conversations with another user. They encrypt text, voice and video communications.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams does not support end – to – end encryption by default, but is available as option to one-on-one voice or video calls.

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Discord

Discord does not support end-to-end encryption.

Direct messages on Twitter

They are not protected by end-to-end encryption. Private messages can be viewed by Twitter and, if viewed, by its staff.

Mastodon direct messages

Mastodon direct messages are not protected by end-to-end encryption. Private messages can be seen from the instance of Mastodon you are on and its administrators. They can also be viewed by the administrators of the instance of the person you are talking to.

Email

Email is not protected by end-to-end encryption by default, but may be if both parties use PGP keys. Some email services, such as ProtonMail, encrypt messages by default if both correspondents use ProtonMail, and provide alternative encryption options if you exchange emails with someone who uses another service.


Which messaging services are really secure?

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