Are Viber, WhatsApp, & FaceTime Secure? Safest Chats in 2020
In this day and age, we all use chat networks for both personal and business purposes. But are our private chats really private? Here's how to keep prying eyes away from your conversations with friends, family, and colleagues. Share
We all use chat networks to connect. We video chat with our family on FaceTime, send messages to our friends abroad via Viber and discuss work with our colleagues over WhatsApp.
But we would never dream of sharing this same personal information over a loudspeaker in a public place. So, why are we comfortable conversing about personal matters on FaceTime, Viber, and WhatsApp without first ensuring that we have a secure connection? Otherwise, anyone could be reading, listening and collecting our private data.
If you’re currently living or working in an authoritarian country, you certainly wouldn’t want the government, your ISP or any other third parties listening in on your private conversations.
Luckily, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can encrypt all your personal data and can ensure that your private conversations always stay private.
Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN to Keep Your Chats Private
- Choose a reliable VPN with fast speeds and a wide network of servers (NordVPN is our top choice).
- Download the VPN and follow the instructions to install.
- Connect to a server.
- Chat without any security concerns!
How Chat Networks May Be Putting Your Privacy at Risk
It’s no secret that chat networks, such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Viber, are susceptible to hacking, data mining and a slew of other privacy violations. Even James Comey, the former director of the FBI, has stated that he puts tape over his computer’s camera when it’s not in use. If the former head of the United States’ most prominent security service has concerns about the safety of chat networks, then you should too.
Just recently, a man from Ohio was charged with using malware to steal personal data from thousands of devices. Terrifyingly, the man was able to hack cameras and microphones on both computers and smartphones. This enabled him to record both video and audio of his victims.
Could you imagine sharing a personal moment with a loved one, thinking it was a private exchange, only to realize someone had been monitoring you the entire time?
Additionally, several companies have recently been accused of data misuse. Facebook, who acquired WhatsApp in 2014, is currently at the center of one of these scandals. More than 87 million of Facebook’s users had their personal information obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm. This has raised substantial privacy concerns regarding WhatsApp. How do users know that their data or personal information isn’t also being misused?
While WhatsApp and other chat networks all claim to provide users with secure connections, a 2017 study revealed that only 14% of people who use encrypted services are properly enabling the security features. This means that even if you think you’re securely chatting with friends and family, there’s a good chance you’re not.
How a VPN Protects Your Privacy
A VPN creates a type of virtual cable between your computer and the server you’re using. The connection is secured by a tunnel that encrypts all data that passes through it. This means that even if hackers, government surveillance or any other third parties were somehow able to get their hands on your data, it would be useless to them because they would have to way of decrypting it. In fact, attempting to decipher the data would be comparable to trying to translate Egyptian hieroglyphs without the Rosetta stone – it would be nearly impossible.
Using a VPN also ensures that website servers don’t receive your data. Typically, when you use the internet you send data to a server with a request for a certain website. That server then sends website information back to your device. However, using a VPN interrupts this process. Your data only moves between your device and the VPN’s server, which prevents the website’s server from ever receiving any of your data.
If you use an unsecured network, such as public Wi-Fi, then a VPN is especially essential to protecting your privacy. Not only will it keep your connection secure – it will also mask your IP address behind their servers, making your physical location and online activity completely untraceable.
If you love using Viber, WhatsApp or FaceTime but you want to be sure that your conversations remain private and that your personal information is never misused, you need a VPN.
In addition to reliable privacy, using a VPN enables you to access websites censored by your ISP and allows you to bypass geographical restrictions on streaming sites. This means you won’t have to wait until the Great British Bake Off comes to your local Netflix to binge the series. All you have to do is change your location to England and stream away. A VPN will also prevent throttling, or slow load times, on streaming sites.
However, not all VPNs are created equal. Make sure you pick the right one! Check out our top choices that are fully vetted and reviewed by costumers. All of these VPNs offer either money-back guarantees or free trials, so there’s no reason not to give them a try!
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