Signal is now one of the most popular messaging applications, with over 40 million users. It is a chat app for reporters, activists, cybersecurity specialists, and privacy-conscious individuals. This application has been endorsed by notable personalities.
Yes, the Signal app is very secure and safe as compared to other similar messaging options. As per Signal, its mission is to safeguard free speech, and Signal neither collects nor stores information about your messages.
This article will elaborate on and explain why is Signal App safe. Furthermore, the features and advantages of using Signal app will also be expressed in detail. Lastly, the comparison will be made with other alternatives.
Is The Use Of Signal Safe?
Signal is the best secure communications software currently available. This software was built by the non-profit Signal Foundation to preserve your privacy. It provides end-to-end encryption with its Signal protocol.
Signal is constructed with open-source software. Anyone may examine the app’s raw data to see how it operates and whether it is secure and there are no advertisements or tracking just on the app.
Signal is a combination of two separate messaging programs developed by Open Whisper Systems: TextSecure and RedPhone. This organization established the groundwork for the Signal standard and Signal application.
Signal allows you to transmit text messages, voice chats, images, videos, GIF’s, location info, and files, similar to Telegram and WhatsApp. Additionally, you may help make calls and video chat. Signal is suitable for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux devices.
Signal contains no advertisements, affiliate links, or tracking. Additionally, the chat app has no affiliation with a large technology business. Therefore, there are fewer issues over data sharing than with WhatsApp, which itself is controlled by Meta (formerly Facebook).
Recently, Signal extended the maximum amount of video call participants to 40. WhatsApp, on the other hand, allows video calls with up to eight people.
Can Signal Be Relied Upon For Usage?
The following are the important features that make Signal app reliable for messaging in the broader outlook:-
1. Complete Encryption
Signal employs Signal as its end-to-end encryption protocol. Every message exchanged via the application is encrypted. Your chat partner is the only one who can view your messages. Even Signal engineers do not appear to have privy to your communications.
No one can read private messages or listen to your phone calls, even us. Privacy is not an optional mode; it is just how Signal operates.
Signal encrypts not just your communications, but also your profile. Signal cannot view your profile’s name, image, or metadata. WhatsApp and Telegram have access to this information.
Signal was the first software to provide end-to-end encryption for every message. Signal protocol has been adopted by Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
2. Signalize Security Codes
Signal gives a unique security code to each chat, allowing you to confirm that your discussion is encrypted. When you initiate a Signal chat with a new number, you may check their security number. If you are providing sensitive information, this is vital.
If a contact moves phones or reinstalls Signal, you will be notified that their security number has changed. This feature protects from man-in-the-middle attacks and removes the possibility of hackers mimicking a contact to obtain critical information.
3. Open Source
Signal is free software, therefore its source code is available on GitHub. The code may be viewed by anybody. Over the years, independent experts have examined Signal’s source code and found that the program has no significant security issues.
After reviewing the Signal protocol in 2016, a group of academic academics stated, “Signal’s procedures show a great deal of work has been expended to prevent the loss of mysteries utilized in specific conversations.”
Businesses and people routinely audit Signal. Even their security audit reports are accessible. Signal has additional security mechanisms.
You may encrypt your phone number, for instance, to prevent someone from hacking your Signal account and re-registering it on a different device.
What Information Is Collected By Signal?
Even while the majority of messaging applications offer end-to-end encryption, they nonetheless gather large quantities of user data.
This metadata contains information on the individuals with whom you speak, the duration or time of each chat, the device you are using, the IP address, and more.
Signal, unlike other messaging applications, only saves the metadata required for the program to function. This includes telephone numbers, randomized keys, and profile data.
Signal has reaffirmed its dedication to privacy throughout the years. The United States Attorney’s Office again for the Central District of California issued a subpoena to Signal in 2021, asking for information such as user locations, identities, and communications.
The corporation answered that it was unable to disclose the requested information since it is not collected. Signal commented, “It is difficult to provide data to which we have never had access. “
Signal stated in a blog article about the event that it does not have access to users’ communications, profile names, avatars, or the GIF’s they search for. Following is some of the information they access:
1. A Telephone Number
Unfortunately, Signal cannot be used totally anonymously, as the program gathers and correlates your actual phone numbers to your account, similar to a username.
If you wish to utilize Signal without giving your phone number, there is a solution. You are able to register with a unique phone number. This might be a second phone number, a virtual number, or a pre-paid SIM card.
2. Contact Directory
Signal is a secure communications application. However, when you register for an account, it immediately requests access to your phone’s contacts. This may appear counterintuitive, but there is a reason why the application requires this information.
Similar to other messaging services, Signal displays your contacts who are also Signal users. Thus, you are aware of who can get your messages and calls. On its servers, Signal saves your contact list in an unreadable manner.
Even if you do not grant Signal access to your contacts, still can still use Signal. However, others can reach you, and you may search Signal for others’ phone numbers to contact them.
What Is The Relation Between Signal And The GDPR?
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU), states that you have the right to get a copy of the personal information that firms gather about you.
Message services that process personal information must comply. Although you may submit a request to Signal, they cannot share any information because they do not gather any.
Through Signal, messages, photos, files, and other material are encrypted end-to-end. They are only viewable on your device and kept locally. Signal does not gather any personal information other than your phone number.
Does Signal Generate Revenue?
Signal is a free, ad-free software for encrypted communication. So, how well does Signal generate revenue? Well, the software is non-profit and entirely supported by donations and grants made by Signal users.
Signal is controlled by a non-profit organization, unlike WhatsApp. In 2018, Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike & WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton created the Signal Foundation. The latter contributed $50 million to the Signal foundation’s establishment.
Is Signal Superior To WhatsApp?
WhatsApp and Signal both implement end-to-end encryption but differ in other features. This indicates that certain chat services cannot access your discussions.
The primary distinction between the two messaging apps is the quantity of information they gather and the organizations that operate them.
The fact that WhatsApp is controlled by Meta (previously Facebook) raises certain issues regarding data sharing. Uncertainty surrounds the WhatsApp data that Facebook utilizes for advertising ie. personal information and chat history.
Signal is indeed a non-profit, private messaging application that does not exchange any information with other parties. It does not gather any info, unlike WhatsApp. Notably, Signal is an accessible application, which renders it more trustworthy as well as transparent.
The objective of making Signal app is to protect the privacy of communications and the identity of conversation partners, but also to gather as little information as possible.
Is There More Security On Signal?
Yes, Signal is more secure than other software alternatives available on the internet. Despite being private by design, Signal users may further adjust the app’s privacy settings via:
- Enabling expired messages
- Activating app lock
- Activating watch prevention
- Activating call forwarding
- Disabling preview pictures
It can be conclusively said that the Signal app is a more secure and reliable option than WhatsApp and Telegram. With end-to-end encryption, Signal communications are accessible on both your smartphone and the recipient’s device.
This implies that your communications may be exposed if any device is lost, stolen, or compromised. To avoid this, you should remove old Signal communications when they are no longer required. This does not, however, ensure that the receiver will reciprocate.