What to know about Signal, the secure messaging app that keeps all of your conversations private
Messaging app Signal is seeing a surge in downloads after one of its biggest rivals, WhatsApp, announced it would soon require data sharing with its parent company, Facebook.
WhatsApp has been sharing data with Facebook since 2016, but users were able to opt-out and still use the app. That will no longer be possible after February 8. After the announcement was made, 7.5 million downloads of Signal took place over five days — a 4,200% increase.
Signal has become one of the most popular messaging apps around. Favored by tech giants, cybersecurity experts, journalists, government officials, and many more, Signal has gone from a darling secret of the security community to something even the non-tech savvy are using.
Signal is known for its incredible security and wealth of features. On an internet where it seems that more and more businesses are trying to track you, Signal can keep all of your conversations private.
Signal is a fully featured messaging app, built with a privacy-first mindset.
- Signal is a free messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to keep your messages private.
- When you send a message, the only people who can see that message are the recipients — not even the company that runs Signal can see what you send.
- You can use Signal to send texts, photos, videos, and voice messages, as well as manage group chats.
- Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
How Signal works
Signal is safer and more secure than most messengers because of a process called “end-to-end encryption.” This works by encoding a sender’s message in such a way that only the intended receiver’s device can unlock it.
Neither Signal, nor your phone company, nor the government can read your messages. That’s why it’s remained popular with journalists, government officials, and anyone else who deals with classified materials. Over the summer, droves of protesters concerned with law enforcement intercepting their communications downloaded the app as well.