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What Messenger Apps Should I Use to Maintain Full Anonymity?

Facebook's Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp are some of the most popular messaging apps in existence. Still, there is more that a messaging app can provide other than the basic end-to-end encryption and other features.

Some can mask mobile numbers and even send text messages without the receiver having to download the same app.

Complete anonymity is something that people have speculated about ever since the start of the digital age since everything we do on the internet leaves a footprint that can be used to identify the person behind the screen. Over time, mere speculations became a need, and the cybersecurity industry only grew further.

This article covers six messenger apps, each with one or more unique anonymizing features. These features make the apps an excellent complement to other anonymizing technologies and services such as coin mixing for cryptocurrency anonymization.

Signal

It’s not a very popular option, but Signal has been in the market for quite a while now. It’s a cross-platform messaging app that is focused on security, which perfectly suits this list. It runs on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and Mac.

As a user, you are prompted to connect your mobile number to the app to make it easier for their system to run on multiple devices, such as when you have to be on your computer but also need to respond to calls.

We all know that giving permission to a messenger app to take your mobile number isn’t exactly a way to maintain your anonymity, but there are ways by which the Signal app proves its legitimacy when it comes to secure messaging.

Mobile users can send view-once media when sending sensitive information, secure in Signal’s assurance that the media sent won’t be downloaded by the recipient.

In addition, Signal has a Safety Number feature. It allows users to verify that they are communicating with the contact they do intend to chat with. It’s a way for the app to eliminate identity theft, enabling users to use the platform without worrying about accidentally giving sensitive information to the wrong person.

Telegram

Telegram has been around since 2013, but it recently rose in popularity following its updates that involve restrictions on content sent inside the app. It appeals to users who seek privacy for personal reasons and companies that wish to properly organize and monitor their teams' chats.

The recent updates on Telegram aim to provide its users with greater control over their devices. That includes letting the user prevent others from forwarding, saving, or screen-grabbing the content that the user sends.

Another feature added is the ability to maximize privacy by letting the user automatically delete the messages they send. However, this feature is only available for private messages between two people; group chats on Telegram don’t have this feature yet.

The app is usually used for group chats with many members, so it's an excellent way for a community to engage if announcements are made. Anonymity in Telegram is easy to implement since users can change their names and usernames by editing their profiles.

Unlike other messaging apps, Telegram doesn’t penalize the user for this since it’s a way to anonymize the account. The user can also choose to reveal their phone numbers to a trusted party, providing the latter with a convenient way to save the numbers as contacts.

Hushed

Designed as a two-in-one messaging app, Hushed follows the same features that most other messaging apps already have, like free SMS and wifi calling. However, what sets the app apart is its ability to provide users with the option to separate their business and personal numbers.

The app also has a Dropbox/Slack integration. If you’re a professional who uses Slack to communicate with coworkers, Hushed might be a great addition as one of your messaging tools.

Hushed can be activated with one simple command. The user can immediately encrypt messages whenever needed, such as when in a channel accessed by two or more people.

The app was first developed in 2013, premised on the need to provide secure messaging for the US, UK, and Canadian markets. It has since improved its features, which involve organizing different aspects of messaging.

Chatterpillar

While other apps mentioned so far are great options for anonymous messaging, Chatterpillar specifically markets itself to be anonymous. It's an app where users can freely send messages without a single hint of their identity.

When a friend is invited on Chatterpillar, they get a randomly generated name that doesn't reference anything about their real-life identity, so no one in the group chat knows who is who. The chat boxes of the app also have a feature that gives people topics, similar to bots that are added on Discord to generate topics.

Private Line

This app gives an alternate virtual number that doesn't interact with the user's actual phone number. It technically works like a virtual burner phone because the user can immediately burn the number after a call or a text has ended, thus maintaining absolute privacy.

The user gets to pick a local code to mask their identity further. As of 2022, there are over 200 options covered. When a user wants to secure their messages even when they're not with their phone, the app has a feature that detects whether someone else other than the user has tried to access those messages.

This feature, together with the password manager that allows the user to store multiple passwords in a single space, helps immensely with the level of security that most messenger apps don't have.

Speaking of password managers, people who care about protecting their accounts usually have vastly different passwords across their login credentials to ensure that hackers don't get to access every account with just one password.

ImNot.Me

Simplicity is one of the essential features that messaging apps have to nail to appeal to users and increase their customer base, and ImNot.Me is a great option specifically for that reason.

Your personal information is not required to use the service, so it's an entirely anonymous messaging app. In addition, while other apps can let you send messages anonymously within the country, ImNot.Me messaging app can send messages internationally, as it supports the international market.

For every message, there's a receipt or notification that will be delivered to the sender to let them know that the number received the message.

Conclusion

People’s increasing dependence on the internet for all kinds of transactions has put a premium on anonymity. Concerns about unwanted third-party involvement in their personal affairs have driven people to seek ways to anonymize a broad range of their activities, from cryptocurrency transactions to private messaging.

Technology has kept pace with those needs. For crypto transactions, for instance, anonymity is obtainable through Unijoin’s crypto mixing services which use CoinJoin technology.

For messaging, many apps in the market are used by popular social media platforms. Still, nothing beats an app specifically developed to anonymize the user regardless of what they will be using it for.

Facebook's Messenger app, for instance, didn't start with privacy features. It was developed simply as a separate app that catered to Facebook users so they could connect better with people on their friends list.

There were no unsend message and secret message options in its features until it integrated the ideas that other developers utilized in their apps.

Messaging apps, in general, are a great way to connect. Still, they can also be used as a tool for illicit activities that involve accessing the user's data and violating their privacy.

Anonymity features are implemented to prevent those from happening. After all, trusted privacy regulation is what makes people willing to use a service.

Hackers are also not the only entities that people should be wary of when considering the importance of protecting their privacy.

There have been numerous cases where government agencies and even private companies were proven to have carefully snooped around people's accounts through massive surveillance.

Such incidents are concerning, given that, in the digital space, any information mined using algorithms can easily be used to manipulate people through carefully tailored ads and content.

All things considered, there's no doubt that anonymity can be a pretty handy feature not just for messaging apps but for everything on the internet in general.

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