Away from WhatsApp: Why Telegram is not a safe alternative

WhatsApp is the most widely used messenger worldwide, but many users are dissatisfied with its security and data protection. The Telegram alternative is particularly popular – although this messenger app does even worse in terms of security and data protection. You can read why this is so and why you can still use Telegram in the article.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps worldwide – at the beginning of 2020 the messenger broke the record mark of two billion active users for the first time. However, many of the users fear for their data and their security, because WhatsApp has been part of the Facebook group for years. Chats in the app are end-to-end encrypted by default, but that’s not enough for many.

That is why more and more users are looking for secure and privacy-friendly alternatives to WhatsApp. The name Telegram is often mentioned . The messenger is considered to be secure and extremely popular – it only recently broke the 500 million active users mark. But the messenger is actually not at all secure. Getasearch explains the background and reveals which alternative is the best.

Telegram is one of the most frequently mentioned alternatives to WhatsApp and is considered safe – but this is not necessarily the truth. On the one hand, with Telegram the chats are by default not encrypted end-to-end at all, but only if the user explicitly sets this and uses the so-called secret chats. Regular chats are still encrypted, but are cached by the cloud function on Telegram servers and could theoretically be decrypted there by the provider.

The encryption of the chats at Telegram is also based on a proprietary protocol – that is, external security researchers cannot see it. There is documentation showing how the protocol works, but no publicly available code. It is therefore up to Telegram itself to discover and close any security gaps. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has been using Signal’s open-source algorithm for the end-to-end encryption of chats and media for some time.

On top of that, Telegram is always touted as an open source app – that would actually speak for the messenger, because open source apps can be examined and analyzed by external experts and bugs or security gaps are found faster. However, this only applies to the clients. Telegram’s server code is not publicly available, so you don’t know what is happening on the provider’s servers. On top of that, the location of the Telegram server is not known and thus also not the data protection laws applicable there.

However, those who use Telegram not for security, but for the additional functions are in good hands here. The messenger not only offers groups with up to 250,000 members and file sharing for large files, but also an API and chatbots that can be used to expand the functionality. In addition, all common chat features are on board. Last but not least, it should be mentioned that various right-wing groups and corona deniers have been using the messenger since the beginning of the corona pandemic – probably because of the various additional features, among other things.

Telegram: That’s really behind it

Telegram is one of the most frequently mentioned alternatives to WhatsApp and is considered safe – but this is not necessarily the truth. On the one hand, with Telegram the chats are not end-to-end encrypted by default, but only if the user explicitly sets this and uses the so-called secret chats. Regular chats are still encrypted, but are cached by the cloud function on Telegram servers and could theoretically be decrypted there by the provider.

The encryption of the chats at Telegram is also based on a proprietary protocol – this means that external security researchers cannot see it. There is documentation showing how the protocol works, but no publicly available code. It is therefore up to Telegram itself to discover and close any security gaps. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has been using Signal’s open-source algorithm for the end-to-end encryption of chats and media for some time.

On top of that, Telegram is always touted as an open source app – that would actually speak in favor of the messenger, because open source apps can be examined and analyzed by external experts and bugs or security gaps are found more quickly. However, this only applies to the clients. Telegram’s server code is not publicly available, so you don’t know what is happening on the provider’s servers. On top of that, the location of the Telegram server is not known and thus also not the data protection laws applicable there.

However, those who use Telegram not for security, but for the additional functions are in good hands here. The messenger not only offers groups with up to 250,000 members and file sharing for large files, but also an API and chatbots that can be used to expand the functionality. In addition, all common chat features are on board. Last but not least, it should be mentioned that various right-wing groups and corona deniers have been using the messenger since the beginning of the corona pandemic – probably because of the various additional features, among other things.

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