Privacy, Security

Do Secure Communications Strengthen Privacy and Security?

Feb. 9, 2022 / My Data Removal Staff
A smartphone with a shield on the screen and a button to turn on security

What different apps, platforms, and devices do you use to communicate with others? Have you ever thought about them from the privacy and security angle? Not all forms of communication are the same when it comes to privacy and security.

Definition

Secure communications are communications (text, voice, video, and email) over platforms that do not have the capability to know what you are communicating (zero-knowledge) and protect your privacy. It is more than just end-to-end encryption; there are no ads, no trackers, or logs kept on your activity. The service provider doesn’t know or care who you actually are and are not trying to monetize your data.

Considerations

When looking at a communications method, it is worth looking at a few different aspects of the service.

Main providers

Text, voice, and video: Signal and Wire

Email: Proton and Tutenota

Other options

These companies are not open source and not all are zero knowledge. Any employee could technically access your communications. They do not make their code accessible to auditors and third parties so it can have bugs, backdoors, or connect to third party servers or resources. You really can’t know.

Telegram – While they have a large user base and do well on the usability scale, they are not open source.

Less secure, non-privacy friendly communications
What should you do?

Ideally, you would only use secure methods of communication with all of your contacts.

However, the reality is that it can be a lot of work to get people to switch the way they communicate. Realistically, you could move your most important and frequent interactions onto secure platforms and pick your battles with everyone else.

Encourage others to use secure communication. Not everyone knows better. Be an advocate or nudge people in the right direction.

Where do you start?

Start small. Download Signal or one of the other apps and try it out. Get someone you communicate with frequently to do it too. Try converting others one at a time.

Open an email account with Protonmail or Tutenota. Start migrating away from Gmail or whatever you use.

Keep in mind it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Sustainability should be kept in mind. And every change you make, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.

Popular posts related to Privacy:

Do You Need an Online Alias Strategy?
Top 5 Actions to Improve Your Personal Cyber Security
What is Email Masking?

Popular posts related to Security:

Personal Cyber Security – 10 Steps to Security
Does Using a Password Manager Help Keep You Safe Online?
How Can You Make Private Purchases Online?