Telegram is a popular instant messaging application developed in Russia in 2013. It now has more than 550 million monthly active users worldwide. Because of its security and privacy features, it is a popular choice among individuals and groups, including cryptocurrency followers. Although Telegram messages are encrypted, the questions being asked by the users about Telegram includes ‘is Telegram secure?’
Telegram is considered a secure app by default, but there are some steps you can take to increase its security before joining . Also, companies that allow their employees to use Telegrams must use a robust enterprise messaging solution for secure and reliable business communication with the Telegram app.
Is Telegram safe?
Not only are messages sent through the platform encrypted, like they are on WhatsApp, Telegram claims to be “more secure than mass market messengers like WhatsApp and Line” because the platform is said to be based on a protocol called MTProto and is said to make security compatible with high-speed delivery and reliability on weak connections.
Nonetheless, formal encryption is not enough to secure your messages from other parties because messages will only be encrypted in transit. It means that, when a Telegram server receives a message, the message goes through the decryption process, and after that, anyone who has access to that Telegram server, like Telegram staff, can see them. Thus, a Telegram message is not secure by default, but you can increase its level of security using certain settings and features.
Telegram security issues
- End-to-End encryption in Telegram is only available for the Secret Chat feature.
To ensure the privacy and security of a message, end-to-end encryption is what you need to prevent seeing it by others once it arrives on Telegram servers. However, in Telegram, it is not available for your regular private chats but available only for secret chats. So, if anyone doesn’t know about this feature and uses only normal chats to share their sensitive private information, they are exposed to third parties without their knowledge.
- Telegrams’ own MTProto protocol is not tested like other popular protocols.
Telegram’s own propriety encryption protocol MTProto is open-source, enabling anyone to inspect its strengths and weaknesses. Since it is only used by Telegram, it is not as thoroughly tested as other widely-available encryption protocols.
Also, several researchers were able to discover security flaws. For instance, a team of computer scientists from ETH Zurich and the University of London state that it does not provide a security guarantee like TLS, which is one of the most secure protocols. According to their investigations, MTProto has security flaws like the ability to manipulate the message sequences and detect messages encrypted by a client or a server, the potential for Man-In-The-Middle attacks, and timing-based side-channel attacks. However, since they are revealing their findings, the Telegram provided patches for all those vulnerabilities. But there can be many that were not uncovered, and future research needs to find them.
How to secure Telegram account?
Here are the main ways you can secure your Telegram account.
Use ‘Secret Chats’ Feature
As mentioned earlier, you cannot get enough security for your messages and other data with Telegrams’ regular private messages and group chats. Use the secret chats feature instead to get End-to-End encryption. The main privacy features of Telegrams’ Secret Chats include:
- Use End-to-End Encryption
Secret chats use client-client encryption for messages. It means that no middle party like Telegram staff or your internet service provider can see messages, photos, videos, and files. The sender and the receiver are the only people who can read them.
- Self-Destructing Messages
Another security feature is that secret chats offer self-destructing messages. Self-destructing messages allow messages, photos, videos, and files to self-destruct after a particular period after the receiver has opened them.
- Prevent forwarding secret chats
Also, the Telegram prevents forwarding secret chats to others, and if either party deletes the secret chat message, the Telegram automatically deletes the message on the other end.
- There is no cloud involvement in secret chats .
Secret chats are not stored in the Telegram cloud. It means they are accessible only from the sender and receivers’ devices. Thus, if your device is secure, it will be secure from third parties.
Activate Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification (2SV) is a setting in Telegram you can activate if you want more security for your messages. By default, you just need an SMS code to log in to Telegram. The (2SV) process requires you to enter a password along with the SMS code providing an additional layer of security. Users can enable this feature by selecting Settings > Privacy and Security > 2-Step Verification. In addition, you could set a recovery email address if you forgot the password.
Use Passcode and Face ID
A passcode is another setting you can enable to lock your Telegram app so that no one else can open it. In addition, iOS users can provide a faceID to lock the app. Activate this by selecting Settings > Privacy and Security > Passcode and FaceID > Turn Passcode On.
Auto delete account
For more privacy-concerned individuals, the Telegram has offered a setting to delete your account if the user is away for a user-defined period.
What Crypto companies use Telegram?
Telegram has become wildly popular in the Crypto, NFT, and Web3 space, having carved a niche for itself as “safe place for the crypto community”. One reason behind this trend is the data privacy, and the above-discussed security features Telegram provides. In fact, there are many crypto channels and groups in Telegram, such as DeFi Million, ICO Speaks, and Minter Network.
Another reason that crypto companies are drawn to Telegram includes Telegram bots that make handling crypto groups and building Web3 communities an easy task. There are many other reasons why it is popular among crypto companies. Above all, having crucial security features is the top-most reason behind this trend.
How LeapXpert help secure business communications via the Telegram app?
Most companies nowadays allow their employees to use Telegram apps to communicate with their clients. Such businesses may need to record work-related communications via Telegram app per communication compliance requirements. However, Telegrams’ security features like secret chats with self-destructing messages and account auto deletion can make it difficult to track employee misconduct in work-related communications.
LeapXpert provides a modern compliance solution for Telegram communications. LeapXpert federated architecture seamlessly integrates with many modern messaging apps, including Telegram, and enables organizations to carry out secure and compliant messaging through the Telegram app.
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