Five secure chat apps that don’t cost a dime
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Sometimes you need to chat about a subject and you can’trnchance the information getting into the wrong hands. Maybe you’re sendingrnpersonal data or discussing sensitive company details. Regardless of why you need to ensure a securernconversation, the bigger question is “How do you go about it?”
Fortunately, you don’t have to install an encryption engine,rntype your text, encrypt it, and copy and paste the encrypted message into thernchat app (although you could do that).rnInstead, you can take advantage of one of the many secure chat apps available.rnDesktop apps, web-based apps, and mobile apps — you’re covered on allrnplatforms. Let’s dive in and look at some of the best free apps for securelyrnchatting with your friends, family, staff, and clients.
Note: This gallery is also available as an article.
One interesting Cryptocat feature is the ability to joinrnwhat is called the “lobby.” Within the lobby you can chat with anyrnother Cryptocat users who happen to be hanging out. To start a chat, you enterrna name for the chat, create a username, and click Connect. Once you’re in, tellrnthe other users the name of the chat room and have them join. Cryptocat is arnbit of a nod to old school IRC chats, but it gets the job done quickly andrneasily.
Surespot Encrypted Messenger
When you first run Surespot, you create a username andrnpassword. It is important that you not forget this password, as there is no way to recover it. You’ll also want tornback up your Surespot identity once created. If you don’t do this, and you needrnto re-install the app, you won’t be able to log back into your Surespotrnaccount. With this locked down system, it’s nearly impossible for someone tornsteal your Surespot identity. One nice touch is that you can’t even take arnscreenshot of an in-progress chat.
Surespot is free, but you can purchase an encrypted voicernmessaging feature. (It’s free to receive and play messages; it costs only tornrecord and send voice). The cost for the voice is $1.99 USD and is an in-apprnpurchase. Surespot is available for both Android and iOS.
Tox is somewhat new to the world of secure chatting. It was created as arnreaction to concerns of Skype’s privacy (or lack thereof). Tox uses dispersedrnnetworking and strong cryptography to create a secure (using NaCl cryptornlibrary) messaging system for everyone. Users are assigned a private and publicrnkey and connect to one another directly — no middleman or third party involved.
The system works by utilizing the AES-256 algorithm in CTRrnmode. So long as the secret (strong u2500 hint, hint) password created for the chatrndoesn’t end up in the hands of the wrong people, the chat will go off securelyrnand no information will be leaked. The only caveat with ChatCrypt, is that yournget text chatting only. But at least you can invite as many people as necessaryrninto the chat.