Choosing secure messaging software is a crucial step for organizations. But which one should you pick? There are several choices, and it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the good and the terrible.

In this article, we will go over seven guidelines that will help you find a high-quality messenger option, whether it’s for personal or business use.

Look for an app that uses end-to-end encryption

This is the most important criterion when it comes to security. Make sure that any messaging app you consider uses this feature, as it ensures that your data is encrypted from sender to receiver and cannot be accessed by anyone else along the way.

The security of the message itself is only as good as its weakest link, which in this case would be how it was sent or received by either party. Secure apps tend to encrypt at every point along the way whenever possible—not just between sender and receiver but also within their servers.

Look for an app with open-source code

When an app’s code is open-source, it means that anyone can look at it and audit it for potential security flaws. This increases transparency and builds trust between the app developer and users. It also allows developers to fix any vulnerabilities that may be discovered.

Avoid apps that require your personal information

Some messaging apps require you to provide your phone number or email address to create an account. However, this is not a requirement for secure messaging apps. The fewer pieces of personal information an app requires, the better.

Some messaging apps provide the option to create an account with a unique, temporary address instead of your name and/or phone number. These are generally referred to as “disposable” accounts because you can set up new ones whenever you’d like without having to delete your previous ones.

Check for a minimal data collection policy

Another common feature in secure messaging apps is that you can create an account without providing any personal information at all. This means there’s no need to worry about your app collecting or sharing potentially sensitive data with third parties.

If possible, avoid messaging apps that collect metadata about you, your messages, or your contacts. This metadata can be very revealing and can include things like the frequency and duration of your conversations, information about your device, phone number, IP address, and more.

Ask industry experts in your network

Different industries have different security needs, and there may be specific messaging apps that are better suited for your particular field. For instance, some industries require FERPA and HIPAA compliant apps, which won’t be standard in all messaging apps.

If you’re in a specialized field, ask around to see which secure messaging app your industry peers are using and recommend. You can also reach out directly to the developer for information about their security protocols or professional services that might be useful if required by law or regulation.

Ask around to see if any of your colleagues or business partners have a preferred app they use for secure communication. If you’re still not sure which app is right for you, consider consulting with a security expert who can help you find the best solution for your specific needs.

Choose an app with a good track record

Since the majority of secure messaging apps are open-source, hackers can more easily identify vulnerabilities that exist in these types of programs and exploit them if they aren’t fixed promptly. If you do choose one with closed-source code, make sure it has been vetted by security experts and has a good track record of staying ahead of attackers.

WhatsApp, for example, is one of the most ubiquitous and widely used secure messaging apps and has been praised by top security experts for its strong encryption.

However, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which has been at the center of several data breaches in recent years—not to mention Facebook’s business model, which relies heavily on collecting data from its users. It’s no surprise, then, that despite WhatsApp’s stronghold on the market, many advanced users are moving away from it to more secure alternatives like Wire, an end-to-end encrypted messaging app and service that has been endorsed by prominent cybersecurity figures.

Things move fast in the tech world and it’s important not to get caught up in the hype of a new messaging app. The next big thing might just have more than a few holes in its security. Do your research and make sure the app you choose has a good track record before entrusting your most sensitive information to it.

Find an app with multi-platform support and synchronization

Another key feature to look for when choosing a secure messaging app is multi-platform support and synchronization. This means that the app can be used on more than one device and that your messages will be in sync across all of them. This is important because it ensures that you’re always able to communicate with your colleagues or business partners no matter what device they’re using.

Many secure messaging apps also offer a desktop version, which can be helpful if you need to type out longer messages or want to take advantage of the app’s extra features.

Knowing these seven tips will help you choose the right secure messaging app for your needs and keep your data safe from prying eyes. Do your research, ask around, and consult with security experts to find the best solution for you. And remember, just because an app is popular doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the most secure option available!