Apple expert says there’s an iPhone app you should never download

ByLance T. Lee

Jun 1, 2022

No matter how popular an app is, that doesn’t necessarily make it safe. For example, Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular chat apps on the planet, but according to a self-proclaimed Apple expert, the app isn’t as secure as its popularity might suggest.

“To the surprise of many, Facebook Messenger is one of the few such apps that iPhone users should never install on their devices,” said Spylix CEO Steven Walker. The sun in an interview. “It’s so popular that people might not consider it a problematic app.” The reason? Facebook Messenger does not offer end-to-end encryption.

Is downloading Facebook Messenger safe?

Taking a step back, it’s unlikely that anyone would want to eavesdrop on your conversations with friends and family members. That said, you can never be too careful. The internet is an increasingly dangerous place, and zero-day attacks happen virtually every week at this point. If you don’t need Facebook Messenger on your phone, you might as well avoid it.

Given the potential security issues, Walker recommends using “alternatives that provide better security options and end-to-end encryption.”

WhatsApp introduces disappearing messages. Image source: Facebook

The safest messaging apps for mobile devices

The most popular mobile chat app is also one of the safest. WhatsApp has over 2 billion users worldwide, nearly double that of Facebook Messenger. It should be noted that Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, also owns WhatsApp. Nevertheless, end-to-end encryption now protects “all forms of communication on its service”, as Wired reported all the way back in 2016.

Although not as popular as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, Signal takes pride in ensuring that conversations on its app are always secure. Signal can’t read your messages or listen to your phone calls, and neither can anyone else. The app also does not offer ads, affiliate marketing, or tracking. Plus, it’s completely free. If you care more about privacy than any other feature a chat app can offer, give Signal a try.

Will Messenger ever get end-to-end encryption?

A year ago, Facebook suggested that end-to-end encryption would come to Messenger and Instagram Direct by 2022 at the earliest:

We are also working hard to bring end-to-end encryption by default to all our email services. This will protect people’s private messages and will mean that only the sender and receiver, not even us, can access their messages. While we expect to make more progress on default end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram Direct this year, it’s a long-term project and we won’t be fully end-to-end encrypted until 2022 at the most. early. Additionally, the security features we have already introduced are designed to work with end-to-end encryption, and we plan to continue to integrate strong security features into our services.

The company has since pushed back that deadline. Due to concerns about bad actors abusing end-to-end encryption, Meta wants to take its time putting the system in place. Therefore, Meta’s chief security officer, Antigone Davis, said it wouldn’t be ready until 2023.

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