21 October 2021 (updated)

Data Security and Messenger Apps – Tips for Safe Options

With the popularity of messagingdata security has never been more important! From WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to our own FamilyApp, here are the most popular messaging services.

Data Security Is Important

It can be hard to remember a time we didn’t use smartphones for everything from video messages to storing pictures. Technology is convenient, but it’s easy to forget that there are downsides to many commonly used apps. With over 171 million people projected to use mobile messaging by 2022, it’s no surprise that safety and security are important!

Data security standards may be improving, but it’s necessary to know what you’re getting as a consumer. We have taken a look at some of the most popular messenger services to let you know some of the benefits and risks of some mobile platforms.

What Are the Biggest Data Breaches?

As much as we love the ability to communicate and share information online, data security breaches have become quite common.

  • In 2013, Yahoo experienced one of the biggest data breaches in history when 3 billion user accounts were under attack. This included comprising the names, birth dates, emails, and passwords of its users.
  • Uber – In late 2016, hackers got access to information of 57 million Uber users and 600,000 drivers. Unfortunately, this news didn't come to light until a year later.
  • Equifax – In July 2017, the consumer reporting agency had problems with a data security breach. So the social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s licenses of 143 million consumers were exposed. Hackers also got the credit card data of 209,000 people. The issue was likely possible due to a vulnerability on one of their website applications.
  • Facebook – In September 2018, the social media giant was related to a data security issue concerning 50 million users. Hackers could see everything in the user’s profile, which may have included private messages. However, this data breach is different from the 50 million users whose data was sold to Cambridge Analytica in March 2018.

What Is the Purpose of Data Security?

It’s easy to take the convenience of technology for granted. But, with so many social media sites and security breaches, it’s important to be aware of what’s at stake. Nowadays, we all choose to use chat apps more than ever for conversation and communication. They can even include payments, which require credit card data security. As a result, it’s important for customers, businesses, and families to be sure these services can avoid a data security breach.

Data Security: Encrypted Messaging Apps

Is WhatsApp End-To-End Encryption?

WhatsApp may be one of the most popular messenger services there is, especially outside of the U.S. However, simply because it’s well known doesn’t mean it is equivalent to ideal data security. In 2016, WhatsApp implemented end-to-end encryption to improve user privacy. WhatsApp does not store messages. So if hackers access the system, they will not be able to access information. However, while the messages are secure, the user data is not. While Facebook now owns it, WhatsApp introduced two-factor authentication in 2017 to improve security. Though it might be popular with consumers, Appthority voted it the most blacklisted app for business.

How Does FamilyApp Guarantee Data Security?

We created FamilyApp for those who want to communicate securely with their friends and family online. We wanted to make it easy to organize fun family activities, interests, and ideas.

As a private communications platform, FamilyApp makes it their goal to provide secure interactions with brands and providers, too. So the network is decentralized, and the app features end-to-end encryption that does not trail users. FamilyApp is perfect for those who want to use an app that’s safe from beginning to end because privacy is intrinsic to the app. We created this technology to keep your family's data security within your family.

Unencrypted Private Messenger Services

What Does Facebook Messenger Do?

The social network Facebook has received critical reviews in recent years over its data security practices. As a result, it’s important to know what you’re getting when it comes to their messaging service. While it’s based on Facebook’s current chat network, it has features like calls and video messages. While Facebook Messenger offers end-to-end encryption, it does not automatically enable this feature. Instead, users must manually activate Secret Conversation every time you begin a chat. It’s also worth being aware that the messenger cannot encrypt messages you have already sent.

Is Skype a Data Security Risk?

Launched in 2003, Skype is one of the oldest modern communication mediums out there. With approximately 300 million users every month, people can talk around the world by video or voice. As result, data security using iOS and Android devices is important. While Skype-to-Skype service is encrypted, this is not the case when it comes to non-Skype users. For example, if you use Skype to call a mobile or landline, this part of the communication is not encrypted. As many people use Skype this way, many conversations may not be secure.

Is Viber Private?

Viber has only been around since 2010, but this free app boasts more than 900 million users. Even if you haven’t heard of it, it has many features that make it a popular messaging service. Users enter their telephone number and can send anything from texts and photos to videos. Version 6.0 also has end-to-end encryption as part of their data security policy. While it doesn’t mean that messages are always private, you can read more about their practices in the Viber Encryption Overview.

A Family App That Sets Great Value on Data Security

In times where technology is easily available, it’s important to know that data security is a priority for the customer. Fortunately, when it comes to your family, FamilyApp is an end-to-end encryption app created with privacy in mind.

Do you use FamilyApp or have a favorite messenger service? Please share it with us in our comments! Whatever you use, with the current popularity of messaging services, it’s never been more important to have your information secure.

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