If you want to communicate securely, you should use an app that uses end-to-end encryption. There are many of these available. Signal is the best. Get it here. Don’t take just our word for it.
I am regularly impressed with the thought and care put into both the security and the usability of this app. It’s my first choice for an encrypted conversation.
— Bruce Schneier, security technologist
You have a responsibility to uphold the privacy of the people you communicate with. Because of the way the app is designed, the developer of Signal, Open Whisper Systems holds very little information on users. This is how they describe the information they hold on users of the service –
We’ve designed the Signal service to minimize the data we retain about Signal users, so the only information we can produce in response to a request like this is the date and time a user registered with Signal and the last date of a user’s connectivity to the Signal service.
Notably, things we don’t have stored include anything about a user’s contacts (such as the contacts themselves, a hash of the contacts, any other derivative contact information), anything about a user’s groups (such as how many groups a user is in, which groups a user is in, the membership lists of a user’s groups), or any records of who a user has been communicating with.
Signal uses your existing phone number and contacts list so it’s a doddle to use. It’s also free. Use the guides below to get it up and running on your device. There is also a desktop version available.
+ ‘How to: Use Signal on iOS’, Electronic Frontier Foundation
+ ‘How to: Use Signal on Android’, Electronic Frontier Foundation
+ ‘ The Investigatory Powers Bill would increase cybercrime’, Martin Klepperman. This piece has a very easy to understand explanation of different types of encryption halfway down the page.