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What is end-to-end encryption?

It’s easy to boost your privacy online and communicate securely when using end-to-end encryption apps. End-to-end encryption prevents bad actors from intercepting the messages between you and the recipient. End-to-end encryption essentially means that your messages are for your eyes and only for your recipients’ eyes.

End-to-end encryption used to be for the tech-savvy and elite only — but more recently, tons of apps and platforms have made end-to-end encryption available to the masses.

What is end-to-end encryption and how does it work?

End-to-end encryption means no one — not hackers, government officials, or the company that owns your device — can read your message while it’s being sent. It basically takes your message, jumbles it up, sends it, and unjumbles it once it reaches your recipient. So anyone who tries to intercept your message in between you and your recipient just gets a bunch of mess instead of the message itself. Messages can pass through loads of hands on their way from sender to recipient, including the service you use to send the message, the internet service provider involved, and servers that store the message data.

Does it protect you against everything?

Nope! End-to-end encryption protects your privacy against anything trying to mess with your messages in between you and your recipient, but it won’t protect you against everything. Although it protects you from information inside a message, it does not protect metadata about the message, such as the date and time it was sent or who sent it. Also, it does not prevent the recipient of your message from sharing whatever information you send.

If I’m not sending secret messages, does it really matter?

It’s ultimately up to you whether you use apps with end-to-end encryption. Some people like using end-to-end encryption for all of their messaging because they prioritize privacy, and it’s often free and just as easy to use as other apps that offer fewer privacy-focused features. Overall, end-to-end encryption is just one way you can use your right to privacy.

Which apps use end-to-end encryption?

End-to-end encryption is now easier than ever before if you want to get involved. All apps offer different features, and some cost money and some are free. Choose the one that works for you.

  • Proton Mail
  • Signal
  • Threema
  • WhatsApp
  • Telegram
  • Silent
  • Skred Messenger
  • Wire
  • Wickr Me
  • Viber
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Silence
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