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September 15, 2022

Private Chat: How Safe Are Your Conversations?

Data privacy is constantly under attack. As hackers attempt to steal your information, most technology companies are selling it for billions of dollars.

The truth is that if you want to keep your data private and secure, you shouldn’t be using any chatting apps. However, in today’s world, it is unrealistic to go tech-free.

Recently, Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp), announced that it is rolling out end-to-end encryption for the popular Messenger app. While this obviously seems like they’re coming very late to the party, it still isn’t enough to keep your data private and secure.

Signal is marketed as a private chat app that is built to rival WhatsApp and Messenger. But is Signal really a secure platform for you and your family to use?

Meta Has Finally Encrypted Messenger: Too Little & Too Late

CircleIt is a private alternative to Meta's Messenger app. Meta’s popular Messenger app has been downloaded over 15 billion times globally. In many cases, it is the primary form of communication for some families. However, until 2022, Messenger has lacked end-to-end encryption, despite the fact that Meta’s other flagship chat platform, WhatsApp, has had it since 2016.

Messenger has the ability to send and receive payments, video and voice chat, and even link directly to your Facebook and Instagram accounts, which contain a treasure trove of personal information. Messenger has been hacked more times than privacy experts can quantify. This is mainly due to the lack of security within the overall Meta ecosystem. It is very easy for hackers to break through security protocols and assume control of a Messenger account. From there, there is no shortage of damage that can be done.

Encrypting the platform is a step in the right direction, however, there is another issue that Meta refuses to address. Why? Because it earns them billions of dollars annually.

Meta routinely scrapes the conversations had within the Messenger platform. Their bots are able to determine when you are discussing certain topics, and then this data is provided to advertisers. This explains why you see an ad for car insurance directly after telling a friend you purchased a new car on Messenger.

In 2020, Meta decided to make Messenger a singular app that served both Facebook and Instagram accounts. This is believed to have been a reason behind an increase in the number of hacks of Instagram accounts.

WhatsApp Found To Be Prone to Hacks

Truly private chat can not be had with WhatsApp. Use CircleIt as a private chat alternative.

Meta purchased WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014. Because WhatsApp was popular globally, it enabled Meta (then, simply Facebook) to penetrate international markets. But because Meta owned WhatsApp, it became susceptible to the same problems that have plagued Facebook and Messenger. However, WhatsApp also has other vulnerabilities that are not present on the other Meta platforms.

For example, in 2019, it was discovered that the way WhatsApp processes image files is much different than the way Messenger and other Meta tools do. This created an opportunity for hackers to obtain control over WhatsApp accounts simply by sending GIF images with code embedded in the file. Some 5 million accounts are thought to have been compromised, but Meta has never given the exact count.

WhatsApp is also scraped in the same fashion that the conversations in Messenger are. This means that although your conversations are theoretically safe from hacking, the data is still sold to third parties for billions of dollars.

As a competitor to WhatsApp, Signal is marketed as the private chat app alternative. But Signal has had its own share of problems.

Signal Hack Shows Encryption Doesn't Go Far Enough

Signal is unique in that they are one of a handful of companies that do not sell user data in any way. However, does that mean that Signal is safer than Meta’s messaging platforms when it comes to data breaches?

Signal was hacked in 2022. Surprisingly, the PR team from Signal claimed that the hack was proof that Signal was a secure platform to use. They claimed that because “only 1,900” user accounts were compromised, this was a win for their security team. How a hack of 1,900 accounts can be a “win” is a bit confusing. However, when compared to the hacks of Messenger and WhatsApp accounts, this is much smaller.

The problem with this is that Signal uses multiple third-party tools to secure their platform, of which 4 have been hacked in recent months. One of these, Twilio, is still recovering from the amount of data and information that was compromised in the hack. It currently looks like the platform has beefed up security measures, but there is no true way to gauge this. One telling sign, however, is that Signal recently put out a call to users to donate money to help them keep their platform private. The lack of revenue may lead Signal to take the path taken by Snapchat, TikTok and other “new” social media apps in selling user data to advertisers.

Private Chatting is Available on CircleIt

The CircleIt team thought differently when building the world’s first generational platform. We prioritized the privacy that is owed to those chatting with their loved ones over the monetization of our unique technology.

The true private alternative to Messenger, WhatsApp, and Signal is CircleIt. By building a military grade security infrastructure and encrypting our platform end-to-end, the privacy and security of your communication with your loved ones is guaranteed. We have always, and will always, keep advertisers and other third parties away from your personal and private information, and have turned down millions of dollars in potential revenue to do so. Why? Because at the core of CircleIt is family, and family is the most important thing in the world. Download CircleIt today, and start chatting with your loved ones privately.