While the internet is used for so many different reasons, communication is still at the top of that list. Whether talking to loved ones, in a work meeting, or just chatting up a friend, you need to be aware of how this personal data is being transfered across the web. Encryption is used to make sure your data stays safe from prying eyes. However, there are two forms of encryption we will talk about. There is transport layer security (TLS) and End-to-End Encryption (E2EE). Below is a brief description of each.
Transport Layer Security in a nutshell ensures that the communictions between the client (ie. your web browser) and the server (ie. https://neocities.org) is secure. If anyone were to be monitoring the web traffic, they would see that the client connected to "neocities.org", but would not know what exactly you were doing on the website. However, the server owner woould have access to view your connections and what you are doing on the website.
End-to-End Encryption is used in conjuction with TLS. While TLS secures the traffic between your client and the server, E2EE ensures that only you, and in terms of messaging, the person you are communicating with can read the contents of the message. The owner of the server can not intercept this traffic. E2EE is also known as Client Side Encryption. There are multiple different methods of securing this communication, but in terms of messaging, the most well known for general usage is called Double Ratchet used by the popular E2E Encrypted messaging app Signal.
Below is a list and a quick description of some popular End-to-End Encrypted messaging applications, as well as which platforms they are available for.
Signal is by far the most well known End-to-End Encrypted messenger used today, as well as the simplest. It uses something almost everyone already has to connect you with your friends, a phone number. There is no user name and passwords to remember, which is one of the reasons that make it such a popular choice. The app asks for permission to read your "contacts" list, and then, utilizing a "hash", determins who if any of your contacts are already on Signal, and lets you know. You do NOT have to give access to your "contacts", but you will have to manualy enter every contact you wish you talk to. Our recomendation is using Signal with people whom already have your phone number. While Signal is secure, requiring a phone number to use makes it a bit less private. (While connected, privacy does not equal security)