Secure communication

We’d probably object if someone put a microphone and camera in our room, and could listen to our conversations at any time. Yet, whether through ordinary phone calls or messages on Instagram, we often use chat tools that enable the service provider to eavesdrop on our conversations. For added privacy and security, we always recommend using chat tools that are end-to-end encrypted, meaning only the participants in the conversation can discern the calls and messages. No uninvited guests — not even the service provider — should be able to listen in. Read our guides on some encrypted chat tools to get started.

Signal is one of the best end-to-end encrypted messengers out there, enabling voice, video, and messaging with other Signal users. Signal also differentiates itself by minimizing the amount of information it stores about conversations, such as who spoke to whom and when. This brief guide walks you through setting up and using Signal for Android and iOS, and some additional caveats on how to use it most safely.

This guide walks you through several advanced settings that Signal users can leverage to harden the app even further, as well as considerations for minimizing risk.

Everyone’s taken private photos at one time or another, but your phone may back up or store photos to your camera roll. This may not preserve your privacy, for example, if you have automatic backups enabled on Google Drive or iCloud. This guide walks you through how to use Signal to take ephemeral and private photos within the app, so they are never saved to the camera roll unless you choose.

With over two billion users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat services in the world. The good news: WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption! The bad news: Its parent company, Facebook, collects a great deal of metadata about users and their contacts, and many of its most useful security features are not enabled by default. This guide describes how to enable stronger security settings within WhatsApp, and how to minimize risk when using it.

Keybase is a powerful, yet fairly simple end-to-end encrypted file-sharing and chat service. This guide describes how to set up and use Keybase, as well as some tips on using it safely.

Since the ’90s, PGP has been the standard for encrypting messages and files, including over email. However, it is infamously tricky to use, and even experienced users make mistakes. Proton Mail is an email client designed to make PGP easier to work with, particularly when sending encrypted messages with other ProtonMail users. This guide walks you through how to get started.

Mailvelope offers PGP email encryption and decryption through a friendly web browser add-on, enabling Mailvelope users to message using some popular email clients, including Gmail and Microsoft Outlook. This in-depth guide explains how to set up and use Mailvelope.

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