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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Thinking of Switching to Signal? Here's All You Need to Know

Mon 11 Jan 2021 | 02:11 PM
Yara Sameh

Many users are switching to "Signal" and other alternative applications after they decided not to use WhatsApp following its new updated privacy policy.

On Sunday, the application was trending after Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, advised everyone to use the application.


Here’s what you need to know:

The "Signal" is a free, privacy-focused messaging and voice talk application that you can use on Apple and Android smartphones and via desktop.

All that is required is a phone number to join. You can text, make voice, or video calls with friends, either one-on-one or in groups, as well as use emoji or stickers just like the other apps.

It does not have as many fancy customization features as WhatsApp, like backgrounds. But there is one big advantage: Signal is actually really private.

End-to-end encrypted, customizable timeframes for disappearing messages, run by a non-profit organization that collects no data on users. What's not to love?

Is it secure?

Communications on "Signal" are end-to-end encrypted, which means only the people reading your message can see the content, not even the company itself can see it. Even sticker packs get their own special encryption. However, privacy goes beyond the fact that the content of your messages is encrypted. You can set messages to disappear after certain customizable time frames.

Furthermore, the application collects virtually no data on its users. The only information you give the app is your phone number. The company is even working on a way to decouple that from using the application by making encrypted contact servers.

Part of the reason that "Signal" does not collect data is that it's a non-profit organization, not a for-profit company. It has no advertising, so no incentive to track users. Instead, it’s funded by grants and private investors — one of whom had a huge personal interest in making a privacy-oriented platform.

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Where to download?

The "Signal" is at the top of the Apple App Store or in the Google Play store. It’s currently very easy to find since it’s sitting right at the top of the Free Apps chart.