Experts all across the United States have advised that people should always use encrypted apps to protect their personal data especially after the presidential elections.
For all those people who do not use any encrypted app Signal by Open Whisper Systems is the easiest and the best app to begin with. Since high profile security failures are becoming more and more common and the Russian cyber attacks it should be understood that we can no longer keep our data unsecured.
Another aspect of this whole situation is the local surveillance carried out by the government, keeping in mind that Donald Trump has chosen Mike Pompeo for CIA chief who supports mass surveillance we can safely assume that government surveillance will increase under the presidency of Trump.
Coming back to the Signal, this app provides encryption so that only the people involved in the communication have the access, preventing any third party from reading your messages.
Major messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are already encrypting their chats using the Signal protocol in their “secret conversations”. The Signal protocol is also being used by Google’s Allo app.
Moxie Marlinspike, the creator of Signal and security researcher told media “There is a lot of increased interest in Signal after the elections. Signal already had millions of users, but we have never seen a single event that resulted in this amount of sustained increase and interest.”
He also said that the daily install rate has increased by 400% after the elections.
The fact that the interface of Signal has a lot of similarities with other messaging apps adds a lot to its appeal, it feels like using just another app instead of using some special feature or service. This is important because such apps will only gain popularity if they have a user friendly interface.
Experts also warn that encryption must be viewed as the last line of defense rather than the first line of defense. Safety begins with basics like a strong password, avoid any passwords which have a special meaning for you like birthdays, anniversaries, names etc.
If remembering long or strong passwords is a problems that you can use password managers like LastPass or 1Password, this way your password will be secured and easily accessible at all times.
According to tech experts a two-step verification process should be implemented so if someone tries to access your account you will be alerted via text. You should also take a careful look at the privacy settings of your apps and devices to be sure that you are not sharing information unknowingly.
Always update the software for your device immediately because companies often release new security features to make it even more difficult for the hackers to access your device. Do not store important and personal documents on cloud, instead use a separate thumb drive or hard drive.
Apart from encrypted apps the use of VPNs has seen a rise of 25% in the United States, when using a VPN your browsing data is protected when you are online. VPNs also protect your personal data from being collected and
shared by advertisers and companies.