With so many instant messaging apps out there, there are a lot to choose from and many factors to consider when selecting the right one for you. For many people, data privacy is increasingly becoming an important issue. With that in mind, there are significant differences between messaging apps when it comes to security and privacy. The following comparison looks at how two of the most popular messaging apps, CoverMe and Telegram, compare.
What is Telegram?
Telegram is one of the most popular choices when it comes to secure messaging apps. It has an estimated 200 million monthly users. The multi-platform messaging service was founded by Pavel Duro, a Russian entrepreneur, and it launched back in 2013. Telegram functions just like any other messaging app, with all the functionality you have come to expect from apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. You can send messages, hold group chats, call people, and send files, images, and stickers.
However, where it differs from the likes of Facebook Messenger is in its data privacy protection, which it prides itself on. But Telegram may not be the best messaging app for security. Are there Telegram alternatives, other secure messaging apps that work like Telegram, or are even better than Telegram when it comes to security? What is the best alternative to Telegram? This comparison will review Telegram and one of its competitors, CoverMe — another secure messaging app that focuses on data security, privacy and safety.
CoverMe vs Telegram
Both apps provide most of the usual messaging app functions, such as text and voice messages, voice calls, and group chats. CoverMe provides an additional service through its group chat function, known as Circles on the app. In a Circle, you can send an ordinary message just like any other group chat, but you can also send a broadcast message. Broadcast messages differ in that everyone in the group will see the message, but only the sender will see the replies to the broadcast message. One function that CoverMe misses out on, however, is video calls.
Both the apps provide the user with the ability to send self-destructing messages, which either delete as soon as they have been read by the recipient, or after a set time. CoverMe offers this service across the app. Telegram, however, only provides this service in secret chats – a significant limitation to your information protection abilities.
Telegram is more portable in the sense that users can switch between devices seamlessly and access their chats on their various different smart technologies. However, this results in security flaws. CoverMe does not support multiple devices for security reasons, which will be explained further in the next section.
CoverMe is not a cloud-based messaging service, meaning any message a user sends is immediately and permanently deleted from the CoverMe servers once the message is delivered to the recipient. Users’ data is therefore only stored locally on their devices and cannot be accessed by CoverMe, boosting your personal security and privacy. This also explains why CoverMe does not support multiple devices. Telegram, by contrast, stores messages on its servers, which are vulnerable to hacking.
CoverMe does not require a phone number or email address to sign up. Increasingly, phone numbers and email addresses are becoming unique identifiers that can link personal information across databases. It is therefore important to value privacy when it comes to your phone number or email address, which CoverMe understands and respects. Telegram, however, requires either a phone number or email address to use the app.
One of the keystones of data privacy in messaging apps is end-to-end encryption. This kind of encryption means only the sender and the recipient of a message or data transfer can read it. The company behind an app offering end-to-end encrypted messages could not read the messages its users send, even if it wanted to. The encryption used on all of CoverMe’s messages is so complex, all the computers in the world combined could not crack it. Telegram offers end-to-end encryption, but only on its secret chats. Since end-to-end encryption is a true hallmark of an app that takes its privacy seriously, the fact that Telegram does not offer this service by default is a real downside.
Limitations of Telegram
Telegram got a name for itself as a secure messaging app because it introduced end-to-end encryption to its app long before this technology was widespread. However, as explained above, this level of security is not offered across its general chat channels on the app, whereas for other apps, like CoverMe, messages are encrypted by default. It also differs from secure apps like CoverMe by being a cloud-based service.
Telegram permanently stores messages that users send to each other on its server, and since these messages are not end-to-end encrypted unless the users specifically choose to have a secret conversation, in theory, Telegram could read those messages. CoverMe, however, rules out that possibility by providing end-to-end encryption by default and not holding messages on its servers.
However, in Telegram’s favor, having more relaxed security features means it can offer features, like multi-device capability, that privacy-focused apps like CoverMe are unable to provide.
How CoverMe Protects You
CoverMe provides protection to your data privacy in a number of ways:
- Phone numbers are not linked to the account — CoverMe recognizes that a user’s phone number is a sensitive piece of personal data and therefore should not be used for SMS verification to gain access to the account. By eliminating the need for a link between a user’s phone number and their CoverMe account, this removes the threat of malicious parties hacking mobile phone data to gain control of a user’s account.
- CoverMe does not provide a password recovery service — CoverMe deliberately does not provide this service in order to prevent hackers from gaining control through easy routes. CoverMe users can recover their own passwords by going through numerous verification processes, including security questions they set themselves and geographic location.
- One device login — Only allowing one device per account greatly improves the security of the app. In order for a hacker to gain access to the account on a different device, they would need to answer multiple security questions set by the account holder, they would have to know the master password, and they would even have to be in the physical location where the master password was set.
- Data only saved locally — Keeping users’ data locally on their own devices, and not storing it on the CoverMe servers prevents the risk of information being captured in the unlikely event of CoverMe’s servers being hacked.
- Automatic defenses against break-ins — CoverMe automatically records any attempt to break into a user’s account. If someone enters an incorrect password, the phone’s front facing camera will photograph the intruder and the app will record the time and location of the attempted access and send an alert to the user.
If Your Need Strong Data Security and Privacy, CoverMe is the App for You
CoverMe is the best alternative to Telegram when it comes to online security. The app developers have gone to great lengths to make sure every element of the app is secure and that their users’ privacy comes first. Although Telegram is often name-dropped in conversations about privacy, its default settings do not match up to those of CoverMe, which comes out on top with the best security. With its intricate web of security and a sharp eye on privacy, CoverMe offers one of the most secure messaging platforms on the market.