Our Blog: Stuff we think you should know

Are the Messaging Apps You Use Secure?

Are the Messaging Apps You Use Secure?

Messaging applications are critical to the success of the modern business, but it’s important that they don’t compromise security in the pursuit of convenience. There is a specific set of criteria involved with ensuring that your chosen messaging applications are secure.

The Criteria
Ask yourself the following questions about your messaging application:

  • Are my messages encrypted (and how encrypted are they)?
  • How transparent is the application to scrutiny?
  • How are messages deleted?
  • How much metadata is kept?

We’ll go through each question to help you ascertain if the messaging platform you use is secure enough to use for business.

Are My Messages Encrypted? (And How Encrypted Are They?)
Encryption can scramble data so that it is difficult to read to all those who don’t have a decryption key. We don’t want to get into too much detail, but suffice to say that encryption can make your data much more secure than it would be otherwise. While most major messaging applications use encryption, not all of them follow the most secure of practices.

For example, solutions like Google Hangouts and Skype encrypt the messages that users send, but they also retain a copy of the encryption keys. This is so they can access the messages sent to collect data for advertising purposes. Unfortunately, this also means that the data will be vulnerable if a cybercriminal manages to make their way onto the application’s servers, or if the government were to issue a search warrant for them.

Thankfully, end-to-end encryption is more common with these kinds of apps, where the application holds the keys that encrypt the data. The users also have a key to decrypt the data, meaning that no other external party can access the contents of the messages. Some of these include WhatsApp and Signal. While Skype does offer this option, it isn’t enabled by default.

How Transparent is the Application to Scrutiny?
It’s important that your messaging application provider not only is honest about the state of security, but is also evaluated by an independent and impartial expert that comes to the same conclusion. This means that open-source applications are usually more trustworthy, as they have been the subject of much closer scrutiny over the years. Examples of these applications include Signal, Telegram, and Wickr, while WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger aren’t true open-source, but are based on the same protocol as Signal. An application that is closed-source, like iMessage, trusts the developer entirely to maintain the security of the messages sent.

How Are Messages Deleted?
What happens to messages after they have reached their destination and been deleted? In truth, deletion might be the best way to ensure the privacy of important information. Applications that automatically delete messages within a certain amount of time can be great for security. For example, Skype, Telegram, and Signal all have this capability. WhatsApp even goes as far as deleting messages within 13 hours. Not all apps feature self-deleting messages, and to be fair, nobody is stopping the recipient from taking screenshots of messages, either. Thus, security is left to the discretion of the recipient.

How Much Metadata is Kept?
It’s also critical that your chosen application is protected by the metadata it stores. Metadata contributes to security through user profiling, which stores data of both the sender, receiver, time of communication, IP address, and the device used. Thus, knowing what kind of data is stored by the messaging application will help you best preserve the security of this data.

Haber Group can help you implement secure methods of communication for your business. To learn more, reach out to us at 866.625.3560.

Tip of the Week: This Is What Should You Do When Y...
Clarifying a Few IT Stereotypes
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, June 17 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Best Practices Technology Cloud Email Hackers Privacy Business User Tips Malware Microsoft Computer Business Computing Productivity Hosted Solutions Google Network Security Software Internet Tech Term Data Communication IT Services Small Business Ransomware Backup Mobile Devices Efficiency Workplace Tips Hardware Windows 10 Smartphone Cloud Computing Microsoft Office Android Saving Money Data Recovery IT Support Productivity Gmail Data Management Facebook Browser Business Continuity Upgrade Social Media Managed IT Services Innovation Managed IT Services Windows Mobile Device Data Backup Server Users Office 365 Phishing Internet of Things Information Word Outsourced IT App Passwords Windows 10 Disaster Recovery Smartphones Encryption Network Chrome Vulnerability Cybersecurity Artificial Intelligence Miscellaneous communications Business Management Managed Service Provider VoIP Remote Monitoring Employer-Employee Relationship Office Tips Save Money Virtual Reality Hacker Apple Gadgets Tip of the week Analytics Content Filtering Spam IT Support Big Data Website Managed Service Government Money Apps Infrastructure BYOD Applications Customer Service Augmented Reality IT Management WiFi Avoiding Downtime Maintenance The Internet of Things Settings Two-factor Authentication Tablet Data storage Paperless Office Virtualization Display Bandwidth Antivirus YouTube Employee-Employer Relationship Unified Threat Management VPN Education Robot Risk Management Access Control Router Wireless Printing Automation Firewall Google Drive Laptop Password Mobile Security Document Management Touchscreen Mouse Vendor Management Telephone Systems Presentation LiFi Safety Computers Office Quick Tips Business Intelligence Storage Downtime Scam Wireless Technology Recovery Retail Hosted Solution SaaS Solid State Drive Company Culture Networking Outlook Hard Disk Drive Monitors Holiday Search IBM Data Security HIPAA Data loss Business Technology Chromebook Mobile Device Management Development Virtual Private Network Administration Operating System Customer Relationship Management End of Support Hacking Server Management Bring Your Own Device Wi-Fi Computing Specifications Compliance Lithium-ion battery Charging Mail Merge Value Tech Support IT solutions Smart Office Co-Managed IT Downloads IT Technicians File Sharing Wires Software as a Service Disaster Shortcut Bitcoin Network Congestion Online IoT Computer Care Digital Signage Unified Threat Management Solar Print Toner Statistics Best Practice telephony Break Fix Cookies Samsung 5G Monitoring Hard Disk Drives Spyware Superfish Information Technology Cooperation Google Docs Black Friday Regulations Halloween Messaging Address Writing Undo Hotspot Professional Services Websites Identity Theft Cortana Work Content Multi-Factor Security Mirgation Voice over Internet Protocol Entertainment Uninterrupted Power Supply Patch Management Windows 8 Marketing Microsoft Excel Star Wars Training Fun Desktop User Error Shortcuts Bluetooth Business Growth Application Dark Web Nanotechnology G Suite Spying Solid State Drives Google Wallet Staff Automobile Cyber Monday Social Networking Scary Stories Analysis Employee-Employer Relationships Corporate Profile Current Events Language USB Optimization Streaming Google Calendar Chatbots IP Address Cybercrime FinTech iOS Blockchain Cost Management Troubleshooting VoIP Legal Security Cameras Alt Codes Dark Data Net Neutrality Screen Reader National Security How To Drones Printer Wearable Technology IT service Heating/Cooling Smart Technology Motherboard Remote Computing Sports Students WannaCry Going Green Social Engineering Computing Infrastructure Dongle Knowledge Recycling Human Error Legislation Identity Update Mobile Office MSP Scalability Social Hard Drives Permissions Assessment Time Management Managing Stress Managed Services Cabling Typing FCC Smart Tech PowerPoint Firefox eWaste Device BDR Servers Deep Learning Humor Distributed Denial of Service Mixed Reality Alerts Service Level Agreement Digital Payment Experience Unified Communications User Comparison Running Cable Migration Hacks Refrigeration Fraud Internet Exlporer Politics LED Network Management Collaboration Cables Laptops Managed IT Cryptocurrency Title II Connectivity Virtual Desktop Onboarding Techology Budget Public Speaking SharePoint Continuity Mobility Google Maps sip Managed IT Service Modem Buisness Slack Data Breach Digital Lenovo How To Competition Licensing Private Cloud Emoji Webcam Windows 7 Electronic Medical Records Work/Life Balance Error Black Market Point of Sale Regulation Mobile Computing Travel Law Enforcement Physical Security Notifications CrashOverride Upgrades Twitter Botnet Supercomputer Motion Sickness Gadget Staffing Crowdsourcing Taxes 3D Printing Personal Information Administrator Web Server Emergency Machine Learning IT Budget GPS Printers Computer Repair IT Consultant Updates Unsupported Software Domains Processors Cameras Relocation Meetings Tracking Health Cleaning Mobile Data Alert CCTV