Two sets of hands on a laptop screen.

One easy way to up your privacy game and communicate securely online is to start using apps that utilize end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption prevents any bad actors from picking up your messages in between you and the person you’re sending a message to. Basically, end-to-end encryption means that your messages are for your eyes and the eyes of your recipient only.

End-to-end encryption used to be for the tech savvy and elite only — but more recently, tons of apps and platforms have made end-to-end encryption available to the masses. 

What is end-to-end encryption and how does it work?

End-to-end encryption means no one — not hackers, not government officials, not the company that owns your device — can read your message while it’s being sent. It basically takes your message, jumbles it up, sends it, and unjumbles it once it reaches your recipient. So anyone who tries to intercept your message in between you and your recipient just gets a bunch of mess instead of the message itself. This is important because messages can pass through loads of hands on their way from sender to recipient, such as the service you use to send the message, the internet service providers involved, and servers that store the message data for any amount of time.

Does it protect you against everything?

Nope! End-to-end encryption protects your privacy against anything trying to mess with your messages in between you and your recipient, but it won’t protect you against everything. It protects you from information inside a message, but doesn’t protect metadata about the message, like the date and time it was sent or who sent it and received it. It also doesn’t protect you from the recipient of your message sharing whatever information you send them.

If I’m not sending secret messages, does it really matter?

Whether or not you use apps with end-to-end encryption is ultimately up to your personal taste. Some people like using end-to-end encryption for all of their messaging because they prioritize privacy, and it’s often free and just as easy to use as other apps that offer fewer privacy-focused features. Overall, end-to-end encryption is just one way you can use your right to privacy.

Which apps use end-to-end encryption?

If you want to jump into the fray of end-to-end encryption, there couldn’t be an easier time than now. Some apps cost money and some are free, and they all offer different features, so pick one that feels right for you.

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