A few weeks ago, WhatsApp released a privacy policy update that raised concerns among users. The Facebook-owned chat app sent an in-app alert that sounds like an ultimatum for people who want to continue using the app. Basically, the new privacy policy update requires users to agree to WhatsApp sharing data with its parent company Facebook or forget about the app. 

How exactly does the popular messaging app handle user data within Facebook’s family of apps and products? From the update, it’s clear that the company will be collecting tons of telemetry data from your device. This includes phone number, email address, contacts, browser info, and various advertising data. 

Messaging Apps That Respect Your Privacy

Apps such as Telegram and Signal gained millions of users in the first three weeks of January, which seems to be occurring at WhatsApp’s expense. If recent privacy issues with Facebook’s-owned messaging app have convinced you to look for a new messaging app, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top five WhatsApp alternatives to consider. 

Signal

Following the controversy, tech billionaire Elon Musk told his millions of followers on Twitter to use Signal. Signal is a free messaging app with end-to-end encrypted messages and calls. Signal is available on both Android and iOS. 

Telegram

This free messaging app offers the same features as WhatsApp, but more private and secure. Telegram comes with secure end-to-end encryption for chats as well as voice and video calls. Unlike Signal, Telegram already has a large user base. 

Wickr Me

Are you looking for a free personal chat app offering end-to-end encryption and voice calls? Consider Wickr. Wickr does not store messages or passwords on the app. You can set disappearing messages when using this app. 

Wire 

Another fantastic WhatsApp alternative, Swiss-based Wire boasts of protection by EU data privacy laws. Messages are end-to-end encrypted and are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. Personal accounts are free, but there’s a paid business version of Wire. 

Threema

Threema is a paid chat application that specializes in privacy and doesn’t require a phone number to create an account. It doesn’t log any data. The app is not as popular as some of the WhatsApp alternatives, but it’s one of the most secure. 

Other Ways to Maintain Your Online Privacy

Apart from switching to a WhatsApp alternative, there are other ways to maintain privacy online. One of the best steps you can take to keep your web surfing sessions private and anonymous is to start using a VPN. A Virtual Private Network refers to an online service that conceals your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic. Get a VPN app for privacy and get to surf the web freely and anonymously. 

The new terms of service mean Facebook reserves the right to share the data collected within its family of online platforms. But according to WhatsApp, this update doesn’t mean what you think it means. The update, which was to come to effect on February 8, has been delayed for three months to give the company time to explain changes to its privacy policy. 

Author

Sumit is a Tech and Gadget freak and loves writing about Android and iOS, his favourite past time is playing video games.

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