Aug 16 2015

Secure Instant Messaging App Requirements

Category: Mobile Computing,SecurityTeknovis @ 10:18 pm

Lately I have been on a mission to find an instant messaging app for my mobile phone. The initial plan is to use it for personal purposes with immediate family members, and I am in the position of being able to move them all to a new app. I am less concerned about less immediate family and friends.

If there is a suitable app, then I want to be able to use it for work purposes also.

The obvious choice is WhatsApp, but I detest it in principle for a few reasons:

  • It is owned by Facebook, which I do not use – nor do I want to use it!
  • It is tied to a specific device, and it uses the phone number as an identifier. This is such an outdated approach!
  • I am very sceptical of its security model (i.e., there is none), and I dislike allowing an entity in the middle of my communications to have access to them!

In fairness to WhatsApp, the user interface is very polished and easy to use!

So my main mandatory requirements are:

  • Easy to use
  • Uses well established cryptography
  • Uses end-to-end encryption
  • Not dependent upon a mobile phone number (and hence capable of running on devices without SIMs)
  • Capable of sending and receiving photos
  • Supports group chats (less than 10 people)
  • Available for both Android and iOS
  • Trustworthy (whatever that means!)

Nice to have features include:

  • Available for Windows desktops
  • General verification features

Aspects that do not concern me:

  • Having to pay (a reasonable) once-off fee for it
  • Voice call features
  • Corporate features
  • Recalling messages
  • Remotely deleting messages
  • Establishing secure communications with people that I do not meet in person

I will create a new post in the near future describing what apps I eliminated, and what app(s) I decided to use!

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One Response to “Secure Instant Messaging App Requirements”

  1. Teknovis » Secure Instant Messaging App Selection says:

    […] was searching for a new secure instant messaging app, and I previously described my requirements in Secure Instant Messaging App Requirements. My search has finished, and I have a winner :) Let me explain how I got to this point […]