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App of Week – TextSecure
Encrypt Your Text Messages with TextSecure
Just how private are your text messages? It’s a question that many mobile users
have been asking, especially following the exposure of some of the NSA’s
surveillance practices in the US. While we hope that the text messages we transmit
are only seen by the people they’re meant for, the reality is that these messages can
be intercepted in a number of different ways. The simplest example of that is if
someone has stolen the recipient’s phone and can read the messages being received.
While you might not think you’re transmitting sensitive information, we all have
communications with friends and family that we would simply be more comfortable
keeping private. That’s where an app like TextSecure comes in handy.
TextSecure is an app that encrypts text messages using end-to-end encryption. End-
to-end encryption involves the sender encrypting data to be readable only by the
recipient who must decrypt the data. Using end-to-end encryption prevents third
parties such as mobile providers from being able to read the messages.
TextSecure allows users to encrypt both SMS and MMS messages and send them
using the user’s data connection. The only catch here is that both the sender and the
recipient must have TextSecure. If the sender has TextSecure and the recipient
doesn’t, the sender can still use TextSecure but the messages will remain
unencrypted. That being said, this app is still fantastic if your contacts are willing to
download the app—it even supports secure group chats.
In addition to keeping your text messages secure and private using end-to-end
encryption the app offers some other bells and whistles, such as automatically
deleting older messages once a conversation thread reaches a specified length and
blocking screenshots of messages. All in all, it’s a solid app if you’re concerned about
Android | Free
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