Signal App Boosts Text Message Encryption Between Smartphones

Larry Magid's Tech Report

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Open Whisper Systems, an app developer, has updated Signal, with the latest version making sure that your text messages are encrypted and kept clear from prying eyes.

The app encrypts your data for those sending text messages (as long as the other person is also running the app) either on an iPhone or Android device.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and their British counterpart— Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been accused of hacking into servers and SIM cards and getting access to text messages.

There’s also something known as a man in the middle attack. It’s when you use an un-encrypted wifi-based text messaging service and someone hacks into the wifi network, they can get access to your text messages as well.

But should the average person be concerned if they’re sending their normal day-to-day text messages? This is really the kind of question being brought up Washington D.C. where I’m attending the International Association of Data Privacy Professionals Conference.

You should have the right to encrypt your messages, but is it worth the hassle? I personally don’t think so if you’re not trying to hide anything. But maybe you’re a businessman and you have billions of dollars at stake and you have reason to believe that someone may be prying. Then sure, you should have the right to keep your messages private. I don’t think this kind of app is for everyone, but everyone should have the right to it as long as they’re not planning or plotting to do harm to others.

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