Best Whatsapp Alternatives for Privacy and Security in 2021 and Tips on How to Boost Your Security Online

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Best Whatsapp Alternatives for Privacy and Security in 2021

With a smartphone, internet connection, and a messaging app, people can communicate regardless of their distance. WhatsApp is one of the most famous messaging apps today. In 2020, Facebook merged messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp making it possible for users to communicate cross-platform and enjoy added features while still enjoying end-to-end encryption on individual apps.  

However, with the upcoming change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy, users will need to give Facebook the authority to mint their WhatsApp data. In May, all WhatsApp users will be prompted to agree to this new policy to keep their accounts. Some of the data Facebook will collect include:

  • IP address.
  • Account information, including your phone number and name.
  • Technical details of the device you are using to connect to WhatsApp.
  • Network and service information.
  • In-app transactions information.
  • Communications data, including the businesses and users you interact with.

This has caused a lot of anxiety amongst WhatsApp users and is the reason most of them are looking for alternative options. If you are unhappy with the new policy, you can consider moving to any of the following 7 alternatives to WhatsApp.

7 Apps That Care About Your Privacy and Security

Viber

This is one of the most competitive alternatives to WhatsApp. It is considered similar to WhatsApp because it uses your mobile phone number as your identity on the app. Viber can be used with multiple operating systems including android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows phones, Bada, Symbian, and many others, even though it was initially developed for the iPhone.

With more than 200 million active users, Viber is a famous messaging application across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Sending messages, making calls, and registering your account is easy on Viber. Once you register using a simple code, you can allow the application to access your contacts to find other Viber users in your phonebook.

Other features include end-to-end encryption on media, calls, and messages, groups of up to 100 people, and tones of colorful emojis to use. What’s more, it is entirely free. You can also set a timer for messages to auto-delete on the app, and comes with a trusted contact feature for identifying other chat participants using secret keys.    

Skype

skype

Skype has been in the market for more than a decade as a communication service for chats and calls. It is merged with MSN and Hotmail to make it easy to communicate with your contacts via email.

Apart from offering the best calling facility, Skype is a secure application that does not use your mobile phone to register an account. You only need a username and an email address to create one. Because of its stability, security, and reliability, Skype is an ideal replacement for WhatsApp. You can use Skype credit to call contacts who are not on the platform.     

 Signal

Signal

Ever since Elon Musk recommended using the Signal Messaging app, the user base has increased, making it one of the most downloaded messaging applications in 2021.

Signal is created to offer uncompromised user data security, end-to-end encryption for calls, chats, and media, and transparency, seeing that it is an open-source application. It supports group messaging and one-on-one messaging, voice/video calls, and sharing of documents and media files.

On the android platform, Signal can be used as the default messaging app to replace the stock Samsung and android messaging platforms. Apart from the richest man in the world, Signal is endorsed by numerous data/privacy advocates.

Other notable features include an inbuilt photo blur tool, message auto-delete timers, and a PIN security feature.   

Telegram

As most applications listed here, Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption for communication on the platform and an auto-delete feature for messages. 

On Telegram, you can send texts and share media messages, and it supports group messaging for up to 200,000 participants.

As a cloud-based messaging application, all chats on Telegram are transmitted through servers in different parts of the world, ensuring it delivers messages faster than most other apps. This means that you can sync your accounts on all your devices and that users enjoy unlimited storage. The telegram API is open-source and free to use.

You can download Telegram for android, windows phone, iOS, Linus, desktop, android, macOS, and Web versions.

GroupMe

GroupMe

Just as the name implies, this is a group messaging application that supports cross-platform communication. Owned by Skype, this is not an open-source app like most others.   

With GroupMe, you can share images, videos, and documents that can be accessed from a gallery in the app where the shared media is stored. You can use the application to send direct messages to users in a group, and the app supports location sharing and the use of emojis.

You can download the android, iOS, or Windows version of GroupMe, or go for the web-based client. GroupMe also has an SMS version that does not require the user to download the app or a smartphone. To use the SMS-based option, users send specific commands to the phone number registered on GroupMe to start group chats.

You can do anything on the SMS-based feature, including managing your groups and changing chat settings.

LINE app

LINE app

LINE is another popular alternative to WhatsApp with more than 300 million users worldwide. It is available in more than 232 countries globally, with the user base expanding every day. It is compatible with all operating systems, making it easy for anyone to download.

Registered to a company in Japan, LINE users your mobile number just like Viber and WhatsApp. Once registered, you can connect with anyone in your contact list using LINE where you can exchange graphics messages, text messages, video and audio content. Also, you can make LINE-to-LINE calls with internet connectivity. An added benefit is that you can install it on macOS and PC through your email address.

LINE is a free app compatible with android, ASHA, Windows phones, iOS, and Blackberry.

5 Other Ways to Maintain Your Privacy Online

Apart from downloading the best alternative to WhatsApp for privacy and protection, there are other ways of ensuring your safety online.

Check your privacy settings on your socials

If you have social media accounts, especially those linked to your messaging apps, it is essential to counter check your privacy settings. You will be surprised at how much information is available to the public, including anyone on the internet. Choose what to share with the public and what to keep between you and your inner circle.  

You can adjust your privacy settings on apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Using private browser windows

Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, and other browsers come with the option of browsing the internet in incognito mode. Using these private windows prevents the browser from saving your browsing history, which prevents websites from targeting you for marketing.

Another option is using private browsers like Tor. This is a secure and private option if you want to surf the internet anonymously and prevent leaving any digital footprint. Tor is an encrypted browser that comes loaded with security features.

Using a VPN

You can use a VPN to hide your IP address and personal data. A VPN makes it possible for you to connect to websites through remover servers. This encrypts data from your device to the internet, making it impossible to be tapped. It will hide your IP address and digital footprint, especially when using public Wi-Fi connections.

What’s more, you can access geo-restricted websites when you have an active VPN on your device.

Come up with a password strategy.

Most people use the same password for all their web accounts because it is almost impossible to remember a bunch of them at all times. Using the same password for your accounts puts your personal information at risk, especially if your accounts are linked.

The best way to ensure your accounts are safe is to use password protection applications. These can be used to generate unique passwords for all your accounts, and they save them in a safe place. You can opt for a password protection app that also supports 2-factor authentication as an added security measure for your accounts.  

Always download the latest security updates.

Whenever your phone or computer alerts you on an updated security feature, always ensure you allow the system to download. These updates install security patches to clear bugs present in the previous versions. You can only boost the security of your devices by updating the software whenever needed.

To make it easier, you can set your apps to automatically download the new updates to ensure your apps are always protected.

Conclusion

Even as you look for the best WhatsApp alternative to migrate to, it is important to practice safe online habits to minimize security risks online. With this guide, you can choose the best WhatsApp replacements and adapt the best measures for added online safety.

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