Users beware, Telegram default setting is not actually an end-to-end encryption and still needs to be activated.
An article by Mashable talks about the meaning of end-to-end encryption which is that only the sender and receiver of the message are the only ones that can read the message. If those particular servers were hacked, the hackers would not be able to have access to the messages. It’s now safe to say that basically, end-to-end or e2e encryption is quite an imperative element when it comes to secure messaging. Telegram, however, is not e2e.
How safe is Telegram?
As reported by the New York Times tech reporter named Mike Isaac in his statement on Twitter, both those conflating Telegram and Signal are doing it so wrongfully due to this difference. Isaac noted that Telegram however acts a little more like a certain social-network+messenger instead of an e2e by its default.
According to the Telegram FAQ page, a user has to actually make a chat “secret” in order to activate the e2e encryption. Telegram has a combination of private, public, and secret chats. Secret chats offer messaging only between two different people. This actually means that Telegram’s own private group chats aren’t at all e2e encrypted which still leaves them exposed.
Signal already has an e2e encryption by its default. Out of a number of major messaging apps, however, it actually appears to be the single one. Facebook Messenger is not e2e encrypted automatically just like Telegram where users still need to make a secret chat.
Facebook owned WhatsApp reportedly has end-to-end encryption for certain chats between friends and family. However, the rules get a bit unclear especially when it comes to business chats. The app had finally planned to change its own business chat encryption in a certain policy update that supposedly should take place on February 8. Due to the backlash, however, the company had decided to push it further to May 15.
What is the difference between WhatsApp and Telegram?
WhatsApp messages that are between friends and family are said to be end-to-end encrypted by its default. However, users’ WhatsApp messages to certain businesses might no longer have end-to-end encryption by the start of May 15 if the business has officially been granted access to certain third-party vendors like Facebook for certain hosting purposes.
When users start a certain chat with this particular type of business, they will be able to spot a light blue message located at the top which explains the kind of privacy that users should expect. If the particular chat with the business is said to be end-to-end encrypted, users will then see a note located at the very top of the chat saying so in yellow.
Privacy and encryption has recently become a bigger deal for users ever since WhatsApp particular privacy update announcement. Both Android and iOS users alike are starting to flock to something more secure through using an alternative messaging app or even installing a VPN or an antivirus software to protect them.