This article is dedicated to educating you on the best secret chat apps for Android, iOS and Windows phones. These applications can ensure your messages remain far from prying eyes.
You might learn there are several different reasons you find to encrypt your messages and keep them for the recipient’s eyes only. Some of this could be as innocent as protecting sensitive data, as now more than ever the government, companies, and cyber criminals seek to gobble up all sensitive information they can attain.
There are also the “not so noble” reasons as well. You could be committing criminal acts or cheating on your partner (which by the way you should also read our article about the things to know when cheating on someone). You want a way to make sure you can exchange messages without a trace.
While I do hope that you are not a criminal or unfaithful, I am also not here to preach or judge. I want to show you the three best private texting apps available to secretly send messages with a reduced fear of interception.
Note that I used the term reduced and not eliminated, as there are no secret apps that can completely protect you from high end spy apps. With an app like 👉mSpy installed, there is no preventing your information from reaching the installer.
With all of that being said, it is time to learn about 3 secure messaging apps you can use when you want to keep the chat private.
Top 3 Private Chat Apps For Secret Messaging
This particular app is geared around two things: speed and security. It is very fast, easy to use, and best of all, it’s free (download here for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone).
You can use this service on all of your devices at once, as your messages with sync between any number of phones that you have linked, tablets and computers as well.
With this app, you can: send messages, video, pictures, any kind of file, groups with up to 100,000 people or even a channel to broadcast to the world.
You can also take advantage of a handy feature in the app called “Secret Chats” which utilizes end-to-end encryption, leaves no trace of its presence on the services, allows self-destructing messages and prevents them from getting forwarded. Better still, these conversations are not stored in the cloud and can only be accessed on the device that originated the messages.
If you are looking for secrecy than you can find with traditional messengers, this is the way to go. All of the messages here are encrypted. What this means is that only you and the intended recipient can read the messages, and no one else can access this information (even Telegram).
Additionally, you cannot forward any message contained in a secret chat. When you delete a message on your end of the conversation, your recipient will be ordered to delete these messages as well.
Starting A Secret Chat on Telegram
To start a secret chat, follow these instructions on the phone you use:
- iOS: Start a new message (tapping icon in top right corner), then choose “New Secret Chat”
- Android: Swipe to the right to open the menu, choose “New Secret Chat”
- Windows: Tap + in the chats list, then select “New Secret Chat”
All of the secret chats through Telegram are specific to the device used to create them. You can only access the conversation from the phone that started it or answered it originally. You can keep these messages safe, as long as you keep your phone out of the hands of nosey individuals.
Setting A Self Destruct Countdown
Once you have started a secret chat, you have the options to set a timer to automatically self destruct messages. You have a choice regarding the length of time before a message disappears once it has been opened or read. This message will disappear from both sides of the conversation for good.
Setting the timer is not complicated. Select the clock icon (input field of iOS, top bar of Android, and on the chat info page for Windows), then set the timer to the desired value. This clock begins counting down the moment that a message is displayed on the screen (2 green checks). Once the timer runs out, the message disappears.
Still exercise caution, however. You can never be certain the recipient has not taken a screenshot of the conversation. There is really no great way to know for sure if they have. Technically, the app will alert you if a screenshot is taken, but this is not difficult to bypass. More importantly, they can simply take a picture of the conversation with another device or camera without ever actually taking a literal screenshot.
While the app was initially created to exploit the internet and allow people to call one another from different countries, it now has earned a place among the best secret messaging apps.
From Viber, you can: send texts, photos, videos, video messages and more to other Viber members at no cost to you. It is inexpensive and very useful way to stay in contact with family and friends all over the world (without ever using a minute on your phone).
This application works on all of the major operating systems, even on computers, to help people connect around the globe stay connected. Best of all, all of the messages, voice messages, video messages and more feature end-to-end encryption.
You will not find any of the chat information stored on Viber servers once it has successfully been delivered to its recipient. If there is an issue delivering the message, it remains encrypted until the receiver eventually gets it.
To enhance privacy, Viber offers: secret chats, hidden chats and a slew of interesting features.
Let’s delve into this a little more.
Viber also has a feature called secret chats which has messages self destruct after a designated time limit. In other words, there won’t be a trace of the conversation left to find.
Starting a secret chat looks like this:
- Open the Chats screen
- Tap on “Compose”
- Tap “New Secret Chat”
- Add a contact, or contacts, to the chat.
- Tap “Done” and your new secret chat will open.
You should also take a moment to set a time limit for your messages to stay accessible. Once this timer expires, the message is erased forever. This timer starts once a message is deemed read or opened.
Be mindful that if the recipient is using Android, they cannot take a screenshot. An iPhone can take a screenshot, but you will get notified of it.
These options differ based on their being stored in a separate section of the app and protected by a PIN you set. You will not find hidden chats in the normal chats list. The difference primarily being that these messages remain accessible to you.
Hiding Chats From Chat Info
- Open the chats screen
- Open the chat you wish to hide
- Open chat info screen
- iPhone: Tap on contact’s name, then choose Chat Info (or swipe left) – Android: Tap on the more options icon, select Chat Info (or swipe left)
- Select “Hide This Chat”
- When prompted, enter your four digit PIN (iPhone users can use touch ID)
- The chat is now officially hidden.
Hiding Chats from Viber Chat Screen
- Open chats screen
- Find the chat to hide
- iPhone: Swipe left and tap hide – Android: Long press the chat and select hide
- When prompted, set a PIN
- The chat is now hidden
Opening A Hidden Chat
- Open chats screen
- Type your PIN in search box
- See a list of hidden chats and choose the one to open
Notifications for Hidden Chats
While you receive a message from this hidden chat, you will get an empty, generic notification about a new message.
To read the message
- Open the Chats screen
- Put your PIN in the search bar
- Tap on chat with new notification badge
Hidden Chats On Computers and Tablets
Hidden chats are not available through Viber on desktops or tablets. So this means:
- You cannot hide conversations made on a computer or tablet.
- You cannot access a hidden chat through your computer or tablet.
- If you unhide a chat, it will not reappear in your chats list on a desktop.
- If you start a chat on your computer or desktop with a contact you have a hidden conversation with, you will not receive any responses on these devices. You will only see responses on your phone.
This is a very popular encrypted messaging service like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage. Instead of all of the cute emojis and fancy features, it focuses on security and privacy most of all.
This is another free application to use, and it available on the major operating systems (even an extension for Chrome that works with your phone), and has boosted security protocols. While you might not have the stickers and games you can find with other messengers, you do have all of the tools you need to message like a professional. There is emoji support, read receipts, group chatting, and also voice and video calls.
One of the things that sets it apart with discreet messaging is that it is very simple to keep this information private with this app. As long as you both use Signal, every sent message is highly encrypted.
Also, this encryption is under an open source license approach, so the experts have had the change to test all angles of this protection to exploit weaknesses and improve the quality of the encryption.
Even more impressive than this is the disappearing messages, so let’s see what you should get excited about.
The app has a feature known as disappearing messages, and this ensures that anything sent or received by you gets erased after a designated amount of time. Even if you are not trying to hide anything, it is nice to know that you can keep your personal affairs and conversations completely private.
To enable this feature in the application, follow these simple steps:
- Open the screen where you are able to message the contact.
- Once you are at this screen, tap on the name of the contact at the top.
- Tap the slider next to “Disappearing Messages”
Once you have done this, a slider appears to designate the amount of time before the messages disappear. You can send messages with the assurance that they will erase themselves at your set time.
What Happens When I Set The Timer?
- The message will disappear from all devices once the time elapses.
- Timer only applies to the messaging that happens once the disappearing messages has gotten turned on.
- Each disappearing message with have an hourglass at the bottom or underneath the message bubble.
- For sent messages, the timer starts once you have sent the message.
- For received, this timer starts once you have read it.
Be mindful that you should use this feature to erase message history as it happens rather than to pick a disappearing fight with someone. They can always take a picture of it with another device and have a record of what you said.
You might want me to just tell you what the best app to choose is, and that answer is not clear cut. It depends on why you need the messages to be private. If you are worried about getting caught by your significant other, Viber and Telegram can keep the conversation private without compromising rich text features. If you have hot data and need a high security level without all the bells and whistles, Signal is the app you need.
What About WhatsApp?
I did not include it on this list because essentially it isn’t all that secure. While it does feature encryption services to prevent cyber criminals and the like, it does not allow self-destructing or hidden messages like you find in the above listed apps.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me via the comment box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.