Messaging applications, led by “Telegram” and “Signal”, attracted thousands of users, following violent and fearful reactions to the privacy updates of the most popular chatting applications “WhatsApp”.
During the first three weeks of January, the Signal app gained 7.5 million users worldwide, according to figures published by the Home Affairs Committee of the British Parliament, while Telegram gained 25 million users.
Data tracked by analytics firm App Annie shows WhatsApp dropped from the eighth most downloaded app in the UK at the start of the month to 23 by January 12.
By contrast, Signal was not among the UK’s top 1000 apps on January 6, however, by January 9 it was the most downloaded app in the country.The Guardian” British
But the two apps, just like WhatsApp, have important settings that you must change before you start using them.
The application “Telegram” which won a large number of “runaways” from WhatsApp “” as a mixture of text messages and social media, with the ability to form almost unlimited groups, to bring together like-minded people.
But when you download it for the first time, the application comes with presets]where, unlike both WhatsApp and Signal, Telegram stores all your messages and content in its own cloud, so that you can access everything from anywhere, using all your different devices.
That is why “you will not feel comfortable with the information that you store in your Telegram account, because it is out of your control” according to the site.Forbes“.
Telegram … two important points
Telegram founder Pavel Durov said last week, sarcastically, “We have about 500 million users now, and their number is increasing. Telegram has become a major problem for Facebook … I heard it has a whole section dedicated to finding out why Telegram is so popular.”
The app was not designed to provide an alternative to the popular chatting apps, but rather was designed to enable opponents and protest groups to store content out of the authorities’ reach and access that content from any platform.
Telegram says it sought to strike a balance between “ease of use” and security, making its service easier to use than its competitor.
But as with WhatsApp and Signal, when installing Telegram on your device, you enter your phone number and receive an SMS to confirm that it is your number and link it to your new account.
Again, like others, if you change your phone, simply repeat the process, enter a code through SMS, and restore your account.
Security settings for Telegram
But there is a serious problem, if anyone gets this SMS code, they can take over your account and access your content.
The attackers install Telegram on their devices, enter your number, and then try to obtain the SMS code that was sent to you.
If successful, this provides access to your account and cloud storage.
Telegram apps are standalone and synced with the cloud – all your messages and media are available everywhere you go. Unfinished messages save as Cloud Drafts, which you can pick back up later and send from other devices, like your computer (https://t.co/9coPjh9Ac3) TelegramTips pic.twitter.com/ALG7I6oeUN
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) January 15, 2021
There are sophisticated ways to steal these SMS codes, by tricking networks into issuing duplicate SIM cards, intercepting SMS traffic on the network, or planting malware on your device.
But the easiest and most popular way is to send you a message from a friend’s account that has already been hacked.
But Telegram provides, just like Signal and WhatsApp, a way to prevent this from happening. You can set up the required password along with the SMS code to register the new application installation, ie verify the identity of the user using “two factor authentication” or “two factor authentication”.
And unlike WhatsApp, this can be an alphanumeric code, not just a PIN, and you can also enter a backup email address in case you forget it.
Make sure to set up your icon right away under “Privacy Security” in your app settings.
Privacy settings for Telegram
The second setting that you need to change is your actual privacy settings.
There is no point in leaving WhatsApp due to data privacy concerns and then sharing your private information with the 500 million Telegram users.
Just like with WhatsApp, your default option should be to share your phone number, timestamp, and profile picture with your contacts without anyone else.
Equally important, you also need to decide who can contact you or add you to groups.
As with other messaging programs, you should also secure your app with the passcode on your device where available.
Remember, all of your content is encrypted and available to anyone who has access to this device.
“We cannot protect you from your mother if you take your unlocked phone without a passcode,” Telegram says.
Telegram offers confidential conversations, which provide end-to-end encryption, albeit only from device to device, between two people only, they will not sync across multiple devices and will not work with groups.
Telegram says it’s technically difficult to do this, although Signal and iMessage have successfully implemented this level of encryption flawlessly.
To start a secret chat safely with one of your contacts, go to the regular chat with the contact, and click on the three dots “Android”, or “More” on iOS, then “Start Secret Chat”.
You will see the Secret Chat confirmed with a padlock next to the contact’s name and the option to set messages to disappear if you want to be more secure.
To be safe when using Telegram, change these settings. Do not save pictures or videos attached to your phone unless you trust the sender and the actual media, and choose secret chats when you text someone else, especially if the conversation is sensitive.
Signal – two characteristics that must be changed
When you install Signal for the first time, just like WhatsApp and Telegram, you are asked for your number and an SMS code is sent to verify that it is your phone.
It was this increase in requests for SMS codes that caused problems for Signal after the “mass exodus” of WhatsApp, before the messaging platform itself collapsed under the weight of new users.
All of that has been fixed now, and the Signal app is running smoothly again, according to Forbes.
Unlike Telegram and WhatsApp, the two-factor authentication PIN is mandatory with Signal.
You can specify an alphanumeric number or code when installing the application, and this code is linked to your account and can be used to recover some account information if you lose your device, and this does not include the content of the messages.
And unlike Telegram, there is no cloud storage that supports your Signal account. Although the app has multi-device access, this is more limited and each device has its own endpoint.
It is reported that Signal does not allow syncing messages between all devices you use, and this means that you need to delete messages everywhere.
For reference, the settings of the Signal application that must be changed are: “Recording Lock” and “Screen Lock”.
The registration lock is the crucial key, and it means that you will need this PIN to install your Signal account on your new phone, preventing anyone from hacking your account.
And if someone takes over your account, they will not be able to access your message history.
This feature is similar to what WhatsApp provides, but as Signal gains increasing popularity, “the risk will increase,” as Forbes puts it.
Privacy doesn’t need to be delayed, and it shouldn’t be this confusing. You can just download Signal now. https://t.co/nOibQ8Yra4
— Signal (@signalapp) January 20, 2021
After this setting, you must set the screen lock using the device’s biometric security (i.e. fingerprint, face, or finger) or passcode to unlock the app.
Although Signal has acquired WhatsApp users, which justifies the intense media talk about it in recent weeks, the Telegram application may ultimately be the biggest winner from WhatsApp problems, according to Forbes.
And most security professionals say Signal has the best chance of taking WhatsApp status because it is more private, secure, and broadly the same functionality.