Signal is a cross-platform encrypted messaging service developed by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. It uses the Internet to send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos. 

Its mobile apps can also make one-to-one voice and video calls, and the Android version can optionally function as an SMS app.

Signal uses standard cellular telephone numbers as identifiers and uses end-to-end encryption to secure all communications to other Signal users. The apps include mechanisms by which users can independently verify the identity of their contacts and the integrity of the data channel.

Formerly called RedPhone, Signal is the darling of the information security community and is growing in popularity among ordinary users too. 

When it comes to privacy it’s hard to beat Signal’s offer. It doesn’t store your user data. And beyond its encryption prowess, it gives you extended, onscreen privacy options, including app-specific locks, blank notification pop-ups, face-blurring anti-surveillance tools, and disappearing messages.

Occasional bugs have proven that the tech is far from bulletproof, of course, but the overall arc of Signal’s reputation and results have kept it at the top of every privacy-savvy person’s list of identity protection tools. 

Is The Signal App Secure?

Communications on Signal are end-to-end encrypted, which means only the people in messages can see the content of those messages — not even the company itself. Even sticker packs get their own special encryption. 

Signal created the encryption protocol (basically, the technical way you implement this) that other companies including WhatsApp and Skype use. Plainly put, it is the gold standard of privacy. 

READ
Department Of Justice Seizes $2.3 Million In Cryptocurrency Paid To The Ransomware Extortionists Darkside

Is Signal Really Private?

Yes — and that privacy goes beyond the fact that the content of your messages is encrypted. You can set messages to disappear after certain customizable time frames. Plus, Signal collects virtually no data on its users.

The only information you give the app is your phone number, and the company is even working on a way to decouple that from using Signal by making encrypted contact servers. If the police come knocking to Signal for data on its users, it says, truthfully, that it has no data to hand over.

Part of the reason it collects no data is because Signal is a non-profit organization, not a for-profit company. It has no advertising, so no incentive to track users. Instead, it’s funded by grants and private investors — one of whom had a huge personal interest in making a privacy-oriented platform.