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How to Make Sure Your Messages are Secure

by | Mar 11, 2019 | MyTek Blog, Security

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Quality messaging software is crucial to your business’s success. It helps you reach your target audience and understand what they think about your product offerings.

But, at the same time, you need to ensure that your message transfer happens safely and securely.

You need to keep specific questions in mind while evaluating the safety of your messages:

  • Does the application employ a message encryption feature? If so, how?
  • What is the volume of metadata?
  • Can I delete the messages on the application?
  • Is the software fair and transparent? Can I scrutinize it?

Let’s understand each of these questions one by one:

Does the Application Employ a Message Encryption Feature? If So, How?

These days, most messaging apps use encryption. An encryption key jumbles all the data in so that the information is difficult to understand. This process makes your message non-interpretable.

Let’s understand by taking the example of major messaging apps like Skype and Google Hangouts. These apps encrypt the messages that a user sends out with unique encryption keys. But, they also retain a copy of the user’s communication data in their server.

This data in the server can be compromised if a hacker breaks into the organizational server. Also, the companies need to share their personal data with the government under some conditions.

On the other hand, some messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp provide end-to-end data encryption. Here, the software application only holds the encryption data while the users have access to the decryption data. Neither cyberattacks nor government search warrants can get hold of this sensitive data.

End-to-end encryption is available on Skype as well. But, it is activated by default. Users can activate the end-to-end encryption option only for private conversations.

What is the Volume of Metadata?

Metadata gives all the information surrounding the data being stored in your servers. For example, when the communication occurred, who was the sender of the message, the recipient of the message, the IP addresses of the device, and more.

But, you need to ensure that the metadata containing your personal information is safe. Without adequate security measures, sensitive information is prone to hacking.

Can I Delete the Messages On the Application?

The encryption key protects your device while delivering it to the ideal destination. But what after that? Hackers can access your message at the destination phase. However, some messaging applications allow you to delete the messages after receiving them.

For example, WhatsApp allows you to delete messages 13 hours after receiving them. Similar functionality is also present in Signal, Telegram, and Skype.

Interestingly, some apps like Signal have the option of disappearing messages within a customizable timeframe. Here, the messages delete themselves after some time, thereby enhancing communication security. But, your recipient can still take a screenshot of the message, which might be a future security risk.

Is the Message Software Fair and Transparent? Can You Scrutinize It?

The app development company will try to convince you about their security protocols. But are they open to sudden scrutiny? 

Generally, open-source apps are more trustworthy. Any expert can do a sudden check to understand the safety standards. Organizations like Telegram, Wickr, and Signal fall in this category. On the other hand, Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp do not provide open source codes though they are based on open-source signal protocol.

Closed source apps like iMessage depend on the developer to maintain the message security.

Looking for more ways to secure your business messages?

MyTek has customized solutions for your needs.

You may contact us or give us a ring at (623) 312-2440.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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