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5 Best Encrypted and Secure Messaging Apps

5 Best Encrypted and Secure Messaging Apps

While there was a time when encrypted chats were only used by few individuals or groups such as journalists or secret services, but the times and technology have certainly changed over the years. With the introduction to end-to-end encryption in our daily-use messaging apps, chatting with your loved ones or colleagues has become a private affair, which no one else can oversee.

Basically, end-to-end encryption does not allow certain eavesdroppers such as internet providers or even your own telecom provider to decode the messages you send. Let us learn about few of the apps which use this feature and makes our conversations much safer.

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1. iMessage

iMessage is an instant messaging application introduced by Apple Inc specifically for iOS and OS X users with iOS 5 and above update. You can safely send and receive texts, documents, photos, videos, contact info, and group messages to other IOS and OS X users. All texts sent using iMessage are encrypted, keeping your privacy in mind,and can be tracked using delivery receipts.

With iOS 10 update, you can now send more expressive and animated messages, use Digital Touch to send sketches, taps, or even heartbeats in Messages to your contacts. Also not only you can download this application for iPhone only but also you can easily install iMessage on PC as well.

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2. Signal

Signal is a messaging app, developed by Open Whisper systems, and is available on Google Play Store and Apple Store for free download. With it’s end-to-end encryption and sophisticated engineering, it is safe to send texts, images, videos to other users. An additional feature of the app is the safe voice calling it provides.

The app is advertisement free and the users don’t have to pay anything other than the data charges. Being an open source app, tech-savvy users can verify the security code and audit it for their peace of mind.

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3. WhatsApp

Used by over 1 billion people around the world, WhatsApp is one of the most secure messaging apps. Recently acquired by the successful brand name of Facebook, WhatsApp also uses end-to-end encryption to ensure your most private conversations can’t be seen else.

The app has a fast and simple calling feature which allows you to talk to your loved ones anywhere in the world. Also, you can use the WhatsApp web feature to use Whatsapp for PC or laptop as well.

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4. Silent Phone

The Silent phone is one of the most suitable apps for users who want to keep their messages private and send large files. Launched by Silent Circle, this app is available for all android and iOS users. It also provides encrypted voice calls, video calls, conference calls and text messages on mobile devices. The USP of the app is it’s scheduled burn functionality which allows you to decide when sent messages will be deleted on both ends.

5. ChatSecure

ChatSecure is an open source messaging app which is encrypted and is available for both Android and iPhone. This is a highly secure app with sophisticated security protocols in place such as off-the-record messaging and extensible messaging and presence protocol. Launched by The Guardian Project, this app has been developed not only by engineers but also advocates and legal aid.

Conclusion

We understand the need for users to enjoy their private moments over messaging in privacy. Moreover, businesses also need to have a secure messaging platform to keep rivals at bay. With a self-destruct functionality in some of the apps, and letting you send messages that are automatically deleted after they’re read, the era of messaging apps has seen a drastic change. Individuals with privacy concerns must have these apps on their device.

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Abhay Jeet Mishra

Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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