Switching from a messaging application to the traditional SMS service is not the best option if you are looking for more privacy and SMS security.
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SMS security you send and receive via your carrier’s Short Messages Service may seem more reliable than sending text messages via free online applications🇧🇷 But the vulnerabilities of this service, already more than 30 years old, do not ensure privacy and security as effective as that.
SMS technology emerged in the 90s of the last century. It was designed for operators to be able to communicate with their customers easily and quickly. But these small messages, with a maximum of 160 characters, quickly won over users.
Younger people saw them as an opportunity to lower spending on mobile communications. And even those addicted to mobile voice communication ended up surrendering to its practical features.
That’s why the old SMS messages are still on the market, even if they are increasingly being exchanged for free online messaging applications. But sending an SMS doesn’t make your message less vulnerable to hacking just because it’s offline, nor does it prevent it from being read by someone other than the recipient.
SMS Security: The Dangers of Lack of Encryption
With SMS technology the messages you send are never encrypted. This means that your content can be viewed by operators, the government or official authorities and even by hackers that they can access them. In the case of the operator, your messages will always be stored for long periods of time.
Even if they are deleted, the metadata associated with them may be stored even longer. They are, for example, the information of the number to which you sent or received a message, or the time at which you sent it.
These data are often used as evidence or evidence in police or financial investigation cases, being subject to subpoena in court proceedings.
SMS security: less secure than a messaging app
Sending SMS messages to prevent the company that owns a free online messaging application from being able to read your text messages will only make another large company, in this case your operator, do the same.
But there is a solution, not least because there are applications that guarantee that no company, government or institution can do this reading.
The secret is in the apps they use end-to-end encryptionthat is, end-to-end encryption, which protects the entire process of creating, sending and receiving the message.
Choose applications with end-to-end encryption
Encrypt means converting data, in this case words, into code that can only be decoded using a decryption key. Messaging applications that use end-to-end encryption ensure that only those involved in exchanging messages can decrypt them.
From the moment the message is written, during the time it is in transit and until the moment it is received, the message will not be able to be decoded by anyone’s device.
The application encrypts the message in advance and it is only decrypted using a key stored locally when it arrives at the destination.
Signal and Telegram: apps safer than SMS
There are many free encrypted messaging apps on the market that you can choose from to ensure the security and privacy of your text conversations.
In Portugal, the growth of users of the telegram and gives sign has been constant, especially after Facebook bought WhatsApp, which is/was also an encrypted application.
Both allow you to do everything users do on WhatsApp and on the old SMS service, free of charge, and with total confidentiality guaranteed.
In the case of Signal, its end-to-end encryption protocol is so robust that it was already used by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger (in the secret conversations variant).
But what gives users more confidence is the fact that Signal’s parent company is a non-profit foundation, created after several of WhatsApp’s founders left the company when it passed into the hands of Facebook.
A sign that Signal will be able to stay longer away from financial interests that want to benefit from reading private messages.