What is a messenger? It is a program, mobile application or web service for instant messaging.
The first popular messenger was ICQ and its mobile analogue Jimm. It appeared in 1996 and was popular until 2005. Then Skype entered the arena. With support for voice and video calls, it led the market until 2012.
Then every reputable company in the industry started its own messenger, which explains their diversity in the market. However, not all of them are the same. "Ekonomichna Pravda" tried to find out which of them can be used, and which ones, for the sake of their own safety, should not be used.
What are used

Israeli startup with Belarusian roots was created with the idea to replace Skype. Based on Russian technology, Viber originally appeared in Israel. The application development points are located in Belarus, the head office is in Luxembourg. In 2014, the startup was bought by the Japanese company Rakuten.
Viber is the most popular messenger among Ukrainians. According to the Ukrainian representative office of the company, the messenger is used by more than 20 million people, that is half of the country's population.
ever, it is difficult to call Viber the most secure messenger. There were many examples that proved it. Thus, in 2013, cybersecurity experts discovered that Viber could be used to access a locked Android smartphone.
situation improved in 2016, when Viber introduced end-to-end encryption of messages and conversations. This is a method of data transmission in which only users involved in communication have access to messages.
2017, hidden chats appeared in the messenger, access to which can be obtained by code, the ability to write messages that are deleted themselves, as well as control over attempts to create snapshots of correspondence.
ever, do not forget that the servers of this company are located in Russia. Although the company claims that they contain only the data of Russian users, this information cannot be verified. There are no guarantees that the data of Ukrainian users are not stored in the same place.

WhatsApp is the most popular messenger in the world, although initially it was not even a messenger. It was an application that showed the status of contacts: who is online, who is calling, who is busy.
Over time, the application turned into an improved alternative to SMS and the first messenger synchronized with contacts in the phone. It was developed by Ukrainian immigrant Jan Kum. Ukrainians also worked on the interface and design: they were developed by a team of designers from Dnipro.
WhatsApp strengthened its security in 2016 after the incident between Apple and the FBI and introduced end-to-end encryption. For its implementation, the Signal messenger library is used, which is considered the most secure in the world.
After that, the company assured that the content of the messages will be available only to the sender and the recipient. Before that, it had many failures - from data hacking to downloading viruses through the desktop version of the application. After the introduction of end-to-end encryption, the situation has improved.
However, experts still do not advise to trust the messenger. It is owned by Facebook, which is distinguished by aggressive mechanisms for obtaining information about its users.

Only the deaf have not heard about the brainchild of the founder of the social network "Vkontakte" Pavel Durov. The hype around the messenger, which appeared under the slogan "Let's regain the right to privacy", was raised precisely because of the issue of privacy.
Durov announced a contest, promising $ 200 thousand to the one who will break the encrypted correspondence. Nobody managed to decrypt it, but a user of the resource "Habrahabr" received $ 100 thousand for finding a potential vulnerability in chats.
Telegram has two encryption options: for regular and secret chats.
According to the developers, the information of ordinary chats is stored on several servers around the world and is controlled by various laws on providing access to it. Decryption keys are also stored in separate blocks on different servers.
Not a single Telegram server is located in Russia, and Durov himself left Russia in 2014, having bought himself the citizenship of another state.
However, only secret chats support end-to-end encryption, so sensitive information is recommended to be transmitted through them.

There is an alternative
Signal is considered the most secure messenger. It is recommended even by Edward Snowden - an American programmer, former employee of the CIA and the US National Security Agency.
With Signal you can exchange messages and calls with subscribers from the phone book and be sure that all information is encrypted. They say that even the creators cannot get access to it.
Messages are stored on the device and locally encrypted with a passphrase before being sent to the server. Signal is the only messenger that has opened its data protocols. They were studied by experts and confirmed its security.
Signal has competitors. A fairly popular messenger in Europe is Threema. You will have to pay about $ 3 for it once. The messenger pays a lot of attention to security. When visiting the application for the first time, the user needs to swipe the screen to generate his unique identifier.