How to Avoid Scandals in the Age of Instant Sharing and Data Breaches – 5 Tips
Scandals – sexual, political, or personal – go viral when sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. So how do you protect yourself from being the next data breach victim? These 5 tips can help.
1. Rely on an app that uses encrypted messaging.
End-to-end encrypted messaging means when two or more devices communicate via an app, the messages are encrypted (or scrambled); meaning, the messages are transmitted using a secret code instead of being merely plain text. That means they are not available to third parties. Better safe than viral.
2. Think about NOT backing up your messages to the cloud.
While encrypted messaging is great, your scrambled messages are unscrambled when they are backed up to the cloud. That means government can demand that Google or Apple (whoever is your cloud provider) retrieve them from their servers and hand them over. Another thing: cloud providers can also be hacked.
3. Consider deleting messages you never meant to send.
Viber, for one, offers a Delete Message option that deletes any message from both the sender and recipient’s device. It will totally remove the message even if it has already been seen. Once deleted, the content can never be viewed again. There’s now “What if someone sees this?” because there’s nothing to see.
4. Use secret or hidden chats, when possible.
If you want extra privacy when you send messages, use your chat app’s secret chat, if it’s available. Viber has a Secret Chats option that lets you set a self-destruct time for every message you send in the chat. If you’re an Android user, the recipient can’t take a screenshot of the chat while for iPhone user, the recipient will receive a notification that a screenshot has been taken.
But if you want a conversation to not appear in the chat list, then use Viber’s Hidden Chats function. These are normal chats, but they are kept in a secret section of the app that only the sender can access with a PIN.
5. Always update your apps.
Usually, software updates are done when app-makers find a security bug or when enterprising hackers have become familiar with the code and have already created hacks to break them. So, update your chat apps when a new version becomes available. Better safe (updated and secure) than sorry (breached/ privacy invaded).
For prying eyes on the Internet, there’s always something juicy out there – because many still don’t value online privacy and security. But we are not helpless, we can choose to use apps that feature both encrypted messaging and secure chats with deletable messages. And we can always be mindful of what we share.Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.