Viber has just joined the ranks of other chat applications by adding end-to-end encryption to all conversations that take place between its users. In this way, no one will be able to read the messages apart from the person they are intended for, not even governments, companies or Viber.
Viber’s move comes just after WhatsApp has rolled the same type of security for its one billion users. Apple has also enabled encryption for its Messages. The feature has been turned on by defaults on all three services. But what is end-to-end encryption exactly?
In more details, it refers to a special type of security meant to protect your privacy. All data sent as a message, including text, photos, videos or audio recordings is encrypted immediately after being sent. In this way, no third parties can access it, and only the sender and the receiver can view the messages.
Viber has over seven hundred million users, being owned by Rakuten, an e-commerce giant from Japan. The new encryption feature will be implemented on a global level in the coming two weeks. Those of you who have the latest version of the app should already see the gray padlock symbol that confirms the security of their conversations.
According to Michael Shmilov, chief operations officer of Viber,
“We have been working on this for a long time and are proud that our users can confidently use Viber without fear of their messages being intercepted.”
Shmilov also stated that Viber’s engineers have added an additional layer of security by giving each user a cryptography key to use for their devices. The contacts will be labeled as “trusted” with a green lock symbol so that users can know whether the data they send to others is susceptible to being accessed by third parties. If this is the case, the lock will turn red.
Furthermore, you will also be able to hide chats that you wish to keep secret from others, such as family members or friends who might get their hands on your tablet or phone. The feature is named Hidden Chats.
In the current conflict between governments and tech companies over the privacy of users, messaging services have started to sell encryption and promote it. People are becoming more and more concerned about the secrecy of their conversations, so we can expect all chat applications to implement this type of encryption if they wish to keep their customers.
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