After the 4th of January, people are talking about WhatsApp’s privacy concern everywhere. Videos, articles, blogs, memes, and literally everywhere, big conversations are going around.
Meanwhile, another privacy-oriented messaging app is getting popular; it’s called “Signal Private Messenger.” Some people are even saying that it can be a perfect replacement for WhatsApp.
Is this really going to happen? You can find out this by simply taking a look at the features both messaging apps are offering. But the main concern is privacy, so let’s find out which one is the most secure for an average user.
Where This All Started From?
Do you know where this all started from, and why should you even think about installing or using WhatsApp’s replacement?
If you wonder why they are doing this? Well, it is all about showing more targeted and personalized ads to all its users. However, a big misconception is spreading like wildfire that WhatsApp is no longer secure.
Things started getting interesting when SpaceX’s CEO and now the richest person in the world, Elon Musk, shared a tweet on the 7th of January 2021.
He tweeted “Use Signal,” and this tweet got an impressive response, and this is the main reason why Signal App is getting popular these days.
We hope you got your answer from where it all started. Now it is time to consider whether the Signal app comes out clean in terms of privacy or not.
Can you really use Signal App as a replacement for WhatsApp, or is it just an alternative?
The short and sweet answer to this question is, “Yes, Signal app can be a good replacement for WhatsApp.” Mainly because it provides impressive encryption protocol or end-to-end encryption, it means only you and the sender can see what you are talking about in your chats.
But it isn’t the primary reason people and experts are saying to switch to this particular app. The biggest reason everyone is suggesting is that the Signal app comes from a non-profit organization called Signal Foundation.
Not only this, Signal is an open-source project, which means you can see the full code of this application, whether there is something malicious or not. Obviously, WhatsApp doesn’t allow anyone to see the source code of their application/final product. This thing makes Signal stand out as compared to other private messaging apps.
Before moving forward to this amazing app’s actual interface, let’s take a look at some other important features. While using Signal for private chats, you won’t get tracked, and no ads will be shown. Quite the contrary, WhatsApp is trying to do both of the things, to make more profit.
Once WhatsApp allows the ads in the App interface, there is no wonder if you see ads related to any product you talked about with your friend in chat.
If you don’t want this much personalization in ads that big companies show you, you should definitely consider switching to a more secure messaging app.
Next, a feature that Signal has but WhatsApp doesn’t. It is Signal’s multi-device support. You can use WhatsApp on your iOS or Android device and also with the help of WhatsApp Web. Right?
But on the other hand, the Signal app comes with multi-device support. No matter if you are an iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, and Linux user, you can install this software on any platform.
Interface And Features of Signal:
This section will let you know what exactly this private messaging app is offering to you. It’s because every user must know what features they will get after installing a specific application.
In this digital world, the value of user data is way higher than anything. Big companies can use users’ data to get insane profits. Therefore, you must understand the importance of your data and why many companies want your data.
WhatsApp made changes in the data sharing policy, which triggered and offended many people because they know the importance of their data, such as you. This app is not a brand new one; it has been there since July 2014. However, the developer company tries to push new updates frequently for better security and user experience.
The encryption protocol of this specific application is way stronger than any other messaging apps. You can assume that it is close to impossible to decrypt the data. Therefore, you can easily rely on this app rather than using a messenger that shares your personal data with other companies.
There is another section of privacy you should focus on; it is in-app privacy features. When you go through the “Privacy” section of Signal, then you’ll find various features to keep your chats and data safe.
Features that you are getting in this section:
- Basic security features such as fingerprint lock and screen lock inactive time out. If you want no one else can access this messaging app, expect you, then make sure to configure both of these features.
- Another most important security feature is that you can block screenshots inside the app.
- The Incognito keyboard feature is something that WhatsApp doesn’t have, and this allows you to block other apps to gather the information or data from your keyboard.
- You can enable or disable the Allow from anyone option under the “Sealed Sender” section. It allows you to choose whether someone can send you a message with whom you haven’t shared your profile.
- Registration Lock is something we want to point out here; if you turn this setting on, you must enter a custom PIN while registering or reinstalling Signal. This feature adds another layer of security, and apparently, this feature is missing from WhatsApp.
The user interface of this app is simple, clean, and provides a calm feel. No mess is there; in the middle, you can see all your chats, and the developers have kept this section simple as well. In every chat section, you will be able to see the last message and the time when you or the sender sent the last text/message.
Interface-wise, this app looks pretty similar to WhatsApp and other popular messenger apps.
When you click on “Three dots” at the top right corner, it will give you a few options. Click on “Settings,” then it will take you to the settings page. In this section, you can configure all the settings from one place, like notifications, privacy settings, appearance, and much more.
Note To Self Feature:
It often happens when you just want to save a simple text, number, or something like that on your smartphone. Right? Signal developers understand this need closely; that’s why they have introduced the feature called “Note To Self.”
You can send any text, video, link, image, audio, or document to yourself with this feature. And it looks exactly like a normal chat, but you are sending the content to yourself. It means the data you’ll save in this chat section will stay safe and synced with all other devices you installed Signal on.
Same as WhatsApp and some other popular messaging apps, Signal also allows you to create groups to chat with your friends, family members, and coworkers in a single chat. You can create and add a maximum limit of 150 members in that single group.
Before Signal has released the new update, people had a common issue with the group chats, that they don’t support group video and audio calls. With the new update, they have released or introduced this most awaited feature as well.
Video And Audio Call Encryption:
Last year, many videos calling and conferencing apps claimed that they are using encryption protocols for video and audio calls. But it turns out that they just started applying the encryption; they weren’t using it before.
On the other hand, Signal provides a better experience while using it for video or voice chat with someone or in a group. It’s because they provide end-to-end encryption for video and audio calls/chats as well.
Most of the messaging apps only focus on making the text encrypted and secure, and some do the same with video and audio calls/chats. But what about the stickers you send or use?
Many people like to send their custom stickers for expressing their emotions in a better way. And this is where Signal scores another point because it also focuses on encrypting stickers as well.
It may surprise you a bit that Signal not only encrypts the chats but if you use the chat backup feature, then it also encrypts that. So, that no one else can read or access your chat backup except you. On the other hand, WhatsApp only provides encryption for the chat inside the app, not for the backup chat.
Can Be Used As Default Messaging App:
Obviously, you can’t use WhatsApp to receive the SMS or MMS that you receive directly to your phone number. Right?
But this is not the case with the Signal app; there is an option present in the settings that allows you to set Signal as a default messaging app. So that you can directly send and receive messages from one place.
We hope you got your answer about whether you should replace WhatsApp with Signal or not. And it’s a sure thing that most people will use this app as an alternative rather than a replacement. Why?
Well, WhatsApp is deeply integrated into our lives, and this is the main reason why people can’t just stop using it all of a sudden. However, this change might take some time, but yeah, if you prefer privacy over convenience, then you should switch to Signal right away.
What Other Options or Alternatives We Have?
If you think that a few features are missing in Signal, but you want features exactly like WhatsApp, you can try out some other alternatives. One alternative of WhatsApp that provides reliability, flexibility, and security in one place, is Telegram.
Why is Telegram a great alternative?
- The interface is super easy-to-use; you can say it is very close to WhatsApp’s interface.
- Telegram offers end-to-end encryption with a self-destruction message feature. However, the end-to-end encryption protocol isn’t turned on by default; you must use the “Secret chat” feature for this.
- Because it is a cross-platform messenger, that means you can use it on any device with data sync for easy access.
- Telegram is another open-source project, which means you can check the source code of this messenger by yourself if you want to.
- Great customization options give you control over how you want to make this messaging app look and feel.
In short, this can also be a great replacement for WhatsApp with almost similar features but with better privacy.
In a nutshell, it is the right time to be aware of your data privacy and switch to a messaging app that respects users’ privacy. Therefore, the Signal app may fulfill your needs related to a messaging app that comes with awesome features with the next level of security.