7 Best WhatsApp Alternatives for Privacy and Security in 2021, Plus Tips on How to Maintain Your Privacy Online.
From arranging dinner plans with a group of friends to contacting your best friends who live overseas, messaging applications have grown to become an essential part of day-to-day life for most smartphone users. WhatsApp is one of the most famous messaging apps in the market today, boasting over 1.9 active users.
Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp a few years ago, there have been numerous privacy breaches on the apps. To top it off, WhatsApp announced new policy guidelines that are to take effect on May 15 this year. This new policy will give Facebook access to user data, including information considered private.
7 Best WhatsApp Alternatives for Privacy and Security That Uphold Your Privacy and Data Security
While Spike is mainly a collaboration tool, it comes with group-oriented features that make it an ideal alternative to WhatsApp. It is a dialog-based emailing solution that does not have the conventional subject lines or signatures common with other emailing platforms. You only require your email address to join the platform instead of using your phone number, which is familiar with other apps.
Spike supports one-on-one chats and group chats that work the same way as WhatsApp. It also supports voice messaging and video calls. The data transferred on Spike is encrypted with AES-256 and is stored in the Spike server.
The best benefit of Spike is that it can be used to communicate with people using Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.
This has been termed as WhatsApp’s closest competitor when it comes to functionality and ease of use. What sets telegram apart from WhatsApp is its seriousness when it comes to protecting the user’s privacy. Apart from ensuring end-to-end encryption of messages, telegram also comes with a self-destruct option that clears all chats after a preset time.
It is also a multi-platform with applications that support web, desktop, and mobile devices. It is compatible with Android and iOS.
While many applications boast about the security credentials they employ, none can beat the security features offered by Signal. If you are looking for an application that will guarantee your online security and data safety, Signal is the app to use today; even Elon Musk thinks so.
Apart from end-to-end encryptions for your media, chats, groups, and calls, Signal is an open-source application. This means that most of the app’s codes can be viewed by the public, making it impossible for the creators to add any backdoor spying credentials. Open-source applications are difficult to track or hack, even for government agencies and experienced hackers.
You can download Signal on your Apple or Android device.
As one of the first messaging applications, skype started as a video chat app software in the early 2000s. Today, it has grown to become one of the best chat, group, and video call conferencing applications available and a worthy alternative to WhatsApp. With over 300 million active users, skype gives used a way to connect, collaborate and connect.
Skype comes with end-to-end encryption for chats and calls and does not avail user data to third parties.
Initially created as a game chat platform, discord has grown into an ideal alternative to WhatsApp and Slack when it comes to team management and collaborations. It is a server-based messaging application with a private messaging feature similar to the WhatsApp platform. You can add friends to your chat page using gamer tags or usernames.
You can use discord for private messaging, group chats, video calls, media sharing, group calls, and much more. The group chat feature supports up to 10 friends with the option of starting a discord server if you need to add more people to a group. Unlike most other apps, you do not need to use your phone number or even your real name to use the app.
What started as a key directory for public and private identifier keys has grown to become a preferred alternative to WhatsApp. Keybase uses end-to-end encryption for the messaging component, which can be used for group, one-on-one, and team messaging.
This is an open-source application that makes use of public-key cryptography to ensure privacy. All media, chats, and files transferred through Keybase are encrypted even to the creators. If you are looking for anonymity and a high-end security app, you should try Keybase.
Viber is a cross-platform messaging application that allows you to make calls and send texts to non-Viber users. You can set up your account using an access code sent to you via text. Once you download the app, it automatically searches for contacts using the platform to ensure you can instantly start communicating.
With more than 260 million active users each day, Viber is a popular application in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
Other Ways to Maintain Your Privacy Online
Limit the Amount of Information You Are Sharing Online
One of the smartest ways to maintain privacy and enjoy security online is to limit the amount of info you make available to the public domain. Only avail the minimum required information, especially on social media platforms. Leaving too much data makes it easy for cybercriminals to obtain your info and use it to steal your financial data or for identity theft.
Use a VPN
If you are wondering what a VPN is, it is a tool that provides you with anonymity and privacy online. A VPN channels your web traffic to a secure network and hides your IP address to make it almost impossible to trace your online activities. This tool also allows you to access websites and content from geo-restricted countries.
Use Private Search Engines.
Using the most popular search engines like Google or Mozilla leaves you with minimal options for privacy. Using private search engines like Tor is the best way to protect your data and privacy online since they block data collection and sharing. They also block ad trackers on the sites you visit, thus ensuring you are not a victim of targeted marketing.