Text messaging is one of the most widely used forms of communication today. Text messages are now deeply rooted in our culture. We use them to communicate with friends and family, keep in touch with co-workers, and seek advice from the brands with which we shop.
All of this sensitive information makes your text messages an easy target for hackers. Everything is available, from confidential secrets to passwords and account numbers, if they can break in.
Why is it important to encrypt your text messages?
Encryption makes it difficult for others to read your messages since only you and the receiver can decode the content. Hackers will not be able to view what you have typed if your mails are seized.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is already enabled by default in messaging apps like Apple iMessage and WhatsApp, which helps to keep users’ information secret. Although encryption is not a new technology, Android Messages did not employ it until recently. However, E2EE is now included in the most recent app version.
Install the update as soon as possible to help keep yourself protected:
- Android Messages is available for download from the Google Play store.
- Launch the app when it has finished installing and hit the three dots (…) in the upper right corner.
- Go to Settings and then Chat.
- Turn on the Enable chat functionality option.
It’s now possible to send and receive encrypted texts on your phone. However, there are two factors to consider:
- All of your contacts must download the new app and activate the chat capabilities for your encryption to operate; otherwise, your messages will be seen.
- Group messages sent using Android Messages are not encrypted, thus they can be intercepted and read as well.
Steps to go next with encrypted texts
Here are some more steps you may do to improve the security of your Android text messages:
- First, send a message to your contacts, explaining how to enable chat functionality. In the future, this will ensure that all of your messages are correctly encrypted.
- Second, try utilising an alternate messaging service like Telegram or Signal for very sensitive chats. These applications work on both Apple and Android smartphones, and all messages are automatically encrypted. To get started, you don’t need to make any more changes.
- Third, make sure your smartphone has mobile anti-malware installed. Before the hackers can steal your text message data, anti-malware will help you detect if your phone has been hacked – and remove the infection.
Protect your android devices and those of your friends and family against viruses and hackers.