Online security and privacy have never been more critical. One effective way to keep your messages safe from prying eyes is through end-to-end encryption. This technology ensures that only the sender and the recipient can decipher the content.

What is Encrypted Messaging?

Simply put, encrypted messaging converts your messages into a code to prevent unauthorized access. Only the intended recipient, with the correct decryption key, can read the message in its original form. It’s like sending a locked box where only the receiver has the key. According to ExpressVPN, the roots of encryption can be traced back to the Spartans. They employed a wooden device known as a scytale to conceal their battle plans from enemies. Fast forward to 2023, and encryption has evolved to the cutting-edge realm of post-quantum cryptography.

Why Do We Need It?

Hackers and malicious entities look for ways to intercept and exploit digital information daily. Traditional messaging can sometimes be easy prey for such threats. Encrypted messaging ensures that even if someone intercepts the message, all they see is gibberish.

Moreover, with growing concerns about companies collecting and monetizing data, encrypted messaging also offers protection against corporate surveillance. Ensuring that only the sender and receiver can read the content guarantees personal and business privacy.

Two primary types of encryption are commonly used:

Symmetric Encryption: Both the sender and the receiver share the same key. The sender uses it to encrypt the message, and the receiver uses it to decrypt it.

Asymmetric Encryption: Here, two different keys play a role. The sender uses the receiver’s public key to encrypt the message. The receiver then uses their private key to decrypt it.

End-to-End Encryption: It’s a term you might’ve heard often. End-to-end encryption ensures messages are encrypted on the sender’s side and only decrypted on the receiver’s end. This method guarantees that even the service provider (like a messaging app) cannot view the content.

Encrypted messaging is not just a fancy tech term. It’s an essential tool for preserving the privacy and security of our digital conversations. In an age where information is power, ensuring your messages remain confidential is more than peace of mind—it’s necessary. While numerous apps promise this level of security, let’s explore some top contenders in encrypted messaging.


Arguably the most known in the messaging world, WhatsApp enjoys a user base in the billions. The app promises and delivers end-to-end encryption for all its messages, meaning not even the company can peek at your conversations. This security feature applies to text messages and voice/video calls.

But it’s essential to note that being owned by Facebook, a company often in the limelight for data privacy concerns, has led to some skepticism. Though your chats are private, WhatsApp does collect metadata, such as who you message and when. This information can be shared with Facebook for various purposes, like ad targeting.


Signal stands as a gold standard for many privacy enthusiasts. Created by Whisper Systems and endorsed by Edward Snowden, it is built with privacy. Every message, call, video call, and group chat is encrypted.

The app doesn’t stop at just encryption. It stores minimal metadata, meaning they know very little about who you’re talking to and when. The open-source nature of Signal means that tech-savvy users can inspect its code to ensure it delivers on its privacy promises.


Telegram offers a mix of speed, security, and features. While it provides end-to-end encryption, it’s essential to note that this feature is not enabled by default. You need to start a “secret chat” to ensure your messages are encrypted from end to end.

However, Telegram’s cloud-based nature means you can seamlessly access your chats from various devices. This convenience is a trade-off, though. To provide this feature, Telegram stores your “non-secret” chats on its servers, potentially making them more vulnerable than those on Signal or WhatsApp.


Threema hails from Switzerland, a country known for its strict privacy laws. Unlike other apps that use a phone number as the primary identifier, Threema assigns users a unique ID, ensuring they can communicate without giving out personal details.

All messages in Threema are encrypted, and the app promises not to track users or collect unnecessary data. The business model of Threema is also different. Instead of being free and monetizing through ads or data, Threema is a paid app. This approach underscores its commitment to user privacy over profit.


Last but not least, Viber is a versatile messaging app popular in some parts of the world. Like WhatsApp, it encrypts text messages, calls, and video chats. But what sets Viber apart is its “self-destruct” feature for messages. You can set a timer, after which the message will disappear, adding an extra layer of security to sensitive conversations.

Viber’s encryption is solid, but the app does collect some data for analytics and service improvement. It’s less privacy-focused than Signal or Threema. Still, it offers richer features for those seeking a middle ground between security and functionality.

In Conclusion

In the vast ocean of messaging apps, those prioritizing end-to-end encryption offer an oasis of privacy and security. Whether you lean towards the feature-rich environment of Viber, the stringent privacy standards of Signal, or the familiarity of WhatsApp, the key is to be informed. Understand the strengths and limitations of your chosen app and stay safe in your digital conversations.

About the Author

author photo

Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.