One of the convenient tools Facebook has is Messenger. It was the only thing that would bring me back to Facebook. Several people only have a Facebook account to use Messenger.
Like everything else Facebook – it’s not secure. Your data, your messages even – are in the Facebook ecosystem and subject to all kinds of data breaches. You can even see ads for things you discuss via Messenger. Facebook can’t be trusted. A popular encrypted messenger tool is WhatsApp – but Facebook owns that too (soon to be rebranded “WhatsApp by Facebook”).
So what do you do?
Enter Telegram. From the Telegram FAQ: Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers.
With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs. In addition to this, we support end-to-end encrypted voice calls.
Telegram is a messaging/chat app that facilitates encrypted calls and chats. You have control over the data. People can’t even find you in Telegram unless you make your user handle public (you do not have to make a user handle). Like Messenger, you can see when a recipient read your message. You can make groups and join lists. It is a very versatile tool and it’s SAFER than Messenger.
Messenger allows you to delete a message up to 10 minutes after you sent it, Telegram lets you delete anytime and also lets you send messages that “self-destruct” after a period of time – something useful if you need to reach someone by a certain time and if they don’t respond, there’s not a point to the message after that time. Messenger also annotates you deleted a message, Telegram does not. Messenger allows a recipient to download all the messages you send as part of the data dump you can request from Facebook – if the recipient did not delete the message, it will be in that data dump. Telegram lets you control the data you send almost completely. It will inform you if the recipient took a screenshot of the chat (never 100% reliable but better than any other client), it does all the nifty GIFs and videos that Messenger does, it’s a better, safer client than Messenger. And a bonus – the file size you can attach in Telegram is much larger than most clients (1.5GB), the file can be any size and Telegram also has cloud storage so you don’t have to keep the file(s) on your device.
And it’s all free. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp – you’re paying with your personal information. Telegram only has your phone number and username you make to facilitate use of the service. And you can delete your account completely and immediately, you don’t have to wait 14 days like Facebook – gone is gone.
Why do you need a secured messaging client?
Let’s face it, you don’t need other people in your messages. That includes your wireless provider, Facebook, Google, the government, your employer, hackers, the list goes on. It may sound paranoid, but a misunderstanding from something you wrote can land you in court, be read by law enforcement and misinterpreted, you can get in hot water even in friendships from something you wrote that was misunderstood.
Telegram uses several data servers in various countries. As a result, Telegram combines security, reliability and speed on any network.
From Telegram’s FAQ: To protect the data that is not covered by end-to-end encryption, Telegram uses a distributed infrastructure. Cloud chat data is stored in multiple data centers around the globe that are controlled by different legal entities spread across different jurisdictions. The relevant decryption keys are split into parts and are never kept in the same place as the data they protect. As a result, several court orders from different jurisdictions are required to force us to give up any data.
Thanks to this structure, we can ensure that no single government or block of like-minded countries can intrude on people’s privacy and freedom of expression. Telegram can be forced to give up data only if an issue is grave and universal enough to pass the scrutiny of several different legal systems around the world.
To this day, we have disclosed 0 bytes of user data to third parties, including governments.
It’s not 100% foolproof – nothing is. Note, the Governor of Puerto Rico had to resign due to inappropriate messages send via Telegram. But those messages came to light from those he messaged with – there was no hacking and Telegram didn’t release the data. He was using the client for something nefarious and he made stupid choices. That isn’t why I’m using it. I want control of my data. My ISP, my wireless provider, ad-driven services – I don’t need them in my business. I am shifting toward using Telegram as my only messaging client. Meaning no Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, even text messages.