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Messenger Encryption – All You Need To Know

Encryption is one of the most effective ways to protect digital data. Many devices and applications offer an encryption option for further protection. In October 2016, Facebook’s Messenger became one of them. Here’s all you need to know about the new feature.

Encryption in Messaging

End-to-end encryption is a way to ensure that all the data transmitted between the parties in the secret Messenger discussion will be coded. The coded data is inaccessible without a key. As you might guess, that’s very beneficial for cyber secrecy.

The new encryption feature is available on updated Messengers. Here’s how you can utilize the new function.

Turn on Secret Conversation

To do that, you should:

  • Open Messenger
  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on Secret Conversations
  • 4

  • Enable Secret Conversations

Starting a secret Messaging chat

You can start a secret chat by:

  • Opening a regular chat
  • Tapping on the Settings menu on the upper right corner of the screen
  • Tapping Secret Conversations
  • 4

  • Then choosing Turn On
  • 5

Facebook Messenger Encryption – Summary

The new encrypted options in Messenger have a lot of cool features. For example, you can put a self-destruct timer. When the interval runs out, the message will be erased. Another useful detail is the option to compare device keys in the settings. That way you can ensure that both devices are secure.

Encryption – A Double Edged Sword

Encrypting data can protect it from falling into the wrong hands. As we said before, decrypting information without a key can take a long time, months and sometimes years of constant work. Sadly, that can also be used against users.

Virtually all ransomware viruses use encryption to lock files and then offer the key for a steep price. In that case, encryption prevents data from falling into the right hands. Cerber3, and Locky are three active ransomware viruses that remain undecrypted to this day. The AES-256 algorithm that many viruses used is almost impossible to crack within a reasonable timeframe.

Encryption isn’t the be-all and end-all of cyber security, however. There are still a lot of issued when it comes to secret messaging. Telegram, an entirely encrypted messaging application was hacked. Millions of users had their credentials stolen.

There’s also a lot of distrust toward Facebook as a company, as the social media giant was ordered to stop data collection from their WhatsApp application. Let’s hope that there aren’t any nasty surprises about the new Secret Conversation system of Messenger.

Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a beat writer for Best Security Search. When he's not busy researching cyber-security matters, he enjoys sports and writing about himself in third person.