WhatsApp doesn’t take data protection that seriously, we now know that. But the Telegram app, which has long been a good alternative, shows problems here. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON presents four apps where your data is safe.
Although many have now left WhatsApp, Messenger is still popular. With two billion users, WhatsApp is ahead of Facebook Messenger and Telegram. While WhatsApp, which belongs to Facebook, has been criticized for a long time , recent reports show that Telegram also messes up with data protection . Both messengers collect more data than most people realize.
But there are alternatives that advertise data security and privacy. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON shows the most interesting and secure messengers that can keep up with WhatsApp and Telegram.
The Teleguard app is new in the messenger business. The developer is the Swiss company “Swisscows”, which also operates a data protection-focused web search engine. Teleguard promises security through end-to-end encryption and high data protection requirements. According to its own information, the provider is subject to Swiss data protection laws and operates 100 percent GDPR-compliant.
Teleguard can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. An Android smartphone with Android 5.0.3 or newer or an iPhone with iOS 9.0 or newer is required.
Setup is quick, easy – and without any personal information
The setup works completely without a telephone number and email address. Newcomers can simply choose any display name and off they go. The interface is kept quite simple. There are three tabs pointing to Chats, Contacts and Settings. Teleguard cannot access the contacts stored in the phone. Adding new contacts only works via Teleguard ID. Simply click on the burger menu (three horizontal lines) or swipe from the right edge of the screen. If you click on the name, a Teleguard ID appears, which you can give to others to be added. As an alternative to manual entry, this also works with a barcode. The person you want to add always has to confirm first. Simply writing a number, as is often the case with WhatsApp, is not an option.
Protected against hacker attacks
In addition to end-to-end encryption, Teleguard goes one step further. As soon as messages have reached the other party, they automatically disappear from the Swisscows servers. Once they have been received, they are only saved on the end devices of the chat partner. Even in the event of a hacker attack on the server, no one can find out the identity of the user or the content of the chat.
A pure messenger without additional functions
For those who change who turn their backs on WhatsApp and Telegram, Teleguard is initially a bit strange. Many functions that are known from the more widely used messengers are missing here. First and foremost is the anonymized ID. This protects against associating the messenger use with yourself. However, this also results in major restrictions. For example, multiple use is not possible, as is the case with Telegram. You cannot take the Teleguard account with you on a new smartphone either. The Teleguard ID is bound to a device. When you log in on another smartphone, you automatically get a new ID. Even if you delete the app or reset your smartphone, you can start again with a new ID. For this reason the app does not have a backup function
While chat groups and voice and video calls are possible with Teleguard, there are also restrictions here. There are no group calls, for example. Communication is also more rudimentary than one is used to. The emojis all look as if they had been imported from an Internet forum in the 2000s. There is also no GIF integration. After all, you can send videos, photos, files and self-made stickers
There is currently no web version of Teleguard. The offerer is working on publishing them in 2021
That makes Teleguard a better alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram
If you want to chat as anonymously as possible and can do without a few functions, Teleguard is the right choice. You can see our assessment of Teleguard in the video here:
Threema is one of the most famous WhatsApp alternatives and is regularly at the top of the download charts in app stores. The messenger is equally interesting for private users as for companies. Not without good reason, because the app, which is based in Switzerland, offers end-to-end encryption by default , requires neither a telephone number nor an email address when registering and can therefore be used completely anonymously. Since user data is only managed on the respective devices, not on servers, and messages are deleted immediately after they have been sent, the service prevents the collection of private data. Threema also offers a few ideas of its own that set the messenger apart from the competition.
For example, you can start surveys in group chats and thus easily decide where to go for dinner or which film you want to watch in the cinema. However, Threema is the only one of the WhatsApp alternatives discussed here that costs money: As a rule, the app costs EUR 2.99 for Android, iOS users currently even pay EUR 3.49. A web version is also available.
That makes Threema a better alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram
A range of functions like WhatsApp with Swiss data protection – Threema cannot hold a candle to WhatsApp just when it comes to active users.
Signal boasts of particularly good data security , but also offers little more. Both the text chats and the phone calls with the app are end-to-end encrypted and the entire app is open source. Means: The code is open and can be checked for security by anyone . At the same time, the use of the app is completely free of charge.
Signal has a simple structure, but still offers some functions that are also available on WhatsApp. Not only can encrypted messages be sent, but documents, images and videos can also be sent. If desired, the messages disappear after a certain, freely selectable time, which ensures more data security. Signal also enables group chats, phone calls and video chats, which are also end-to-end encrypted.
One disadvantage of the app: To register with Signal, users have to enter their phone number.
That makes Signal a better alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram
A messenger that even Edward Snowden uses – more data protection is hardly possible.
More than a billion users are said to be using Viber worldwide. The app was originally created for making calls via the Internet , but is now in no way inferior to other messengers. Users can also find all the common functions of WhatsApp on Viber , such as sending messages, pictures, documents and videos. Audio and video calls are also possible, as well as large group chats called communities.
With the own safety Viber advertises : “With an end-to-end encryption are always between you and the person with whom you speak, remain all the data you share. That means you don’t have to think twice about what you can and can’t share on Viber. ”
That makes Viber a better alternative to WhatsApp and Telegram
Users have the option to use self-destructive chats . Selected messages are automatically deleted after reading them. The communities allow chats with an unlimited number of members . All of this makes Viber a nicer messenger experience.