Find out how secure your messaging application is
When it comes to sending messages to other recipients, chat applications that allow you to do so have been around for ages.
Recently things have moved to mobile though and that's were most communication takes places nowadays.
Mobile users pick apps out of hundreds of even thousands of available ones, and while many select most popular apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Chat or Google Hangouts, others may select apps that promise better security or privacy.
It is nearly impossible to tell for end users whether these apps live up to the promises they make or whether security and privacy is just an illusion.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation analyzed dozens of mobile chat applications from popular choices to those that promise security over anything else.
For each app, the following questions are answered:
- Is the data encrypted in transit?
- Can the (app) provider read the message?
- Can contacts be verified?
- Are past communications secure if the keys get stolen?
- Is the code open source or available for independent reviews?
- Is the applications security design documented and available?
- Has the code been audited by third-parties?
You find explanations about each question and the methodology used to come to an answer at the bottom of the page.
Most applications that the EFF analyzed failed in one or multiple categories. Only the following apps passed all tests:
- ChatSecure + Orbot (encrypted chat application for iPhone and Android)
- Cryptocat (Available for iOS, Os X, and web browsers)
- Signal (iOS only)
- Silent Circle (available for Android and iOS)
- Silent Text (available for Android and iOS)
- TextSecure (Android)
How did the popular apps fare in the test?
- AIM passed 1 out of 7
- Blackberry Messenger passed 1 out of 7
- Blackberry Protected passed 3 out of 7
- Facebook Chat passed 2 out of 7
- FaceTime passed 5 out of 7
- Google Hangouts passed 2 out of 7
- Skype passed 2 out of 7
- Telegram passed 5 out of 7
- WhatsApp passed 2 out of 7
- Yahoo! Messenger passed 1 out of 7
It is important to check which tests were passed and which were not as you may not consider every test equally important.
The EFF plans to examine apps closer in terms of usability and security in the near future and notes that the test should not be seen as endorsement just yet.
Now You: Are you using a chat application? If so which and why?Advertisement