Much advice has been proffered on how to keep business data, emails and other communications secure – amid growing threats from hackers and ‘bad actors’ intent on using personal information to their advantage.
However, little has been said about doing so on messaging services, despite these being the way many of us communicate – and an increasingly popular way for businesses to engage with their customers.
To this end, here are five top tips for keeping your messages safe.
- Use end-to-end encryption
WhatsApp famously uses end-to-end encryption, meaning that not even the messaging service itself is capable of interpreting messages between two of its users. Only those involved in a chat can read the content – much to the chagrin of law enforcement agencies around the world.
Either switching this on or using a platform with end-to-end encryption built in should be your number one priority.
- Lock chats
If a particular chat contains especially sensitive data it can be locked behind a password (or better still, biometric security). This adds another layer of protection – although currently only WhatsApp allows you to do this for individual conversations, as the likes of Facebook Messenger require it for all or none.
- Make a message disappear
Many chat platforms offer disappearing chat features, they just have to be switched on manually from within the settings. Once applied, this tool will delete messages after a pre-determined time of being read. This way you can be sure that information is used when needed, then removed entirely afterwards.
- Locate backups
If you’ve backed up a chat then it will be saved locally on your device – which may undermine some of the built-in securities offered by the messaging service. Find any backups and be sure to protect them or remove them (once they’re no longer needed) to keep your data safe.
- Monitor your personal settings
Take some time to check your settings for who is able to see your data, and what they can find when doing so. This should also determine who is (and isn’t) able to message you or send connection requests. This is also good advice for social media content more generally, so you’re aware of what information others can find out about you without even connecting.