Is telegram safe? How to Securely Use It

Is Telegram safe? Telegram, originating in Russia in 2013, has amassed over 550 million monthly users globally due to its strong security and privacy features. Despite its encrypted messages, users often wonder, “Is Telegram secure?” While Telegram is inherently secure, taking extra security measures before joining is advisable. Additionally, businesses permitting Telegram usage should opt for a robust enterprise messaging solution for secure and dependable communication.

Is telegram safe

Note: Consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to safeguard your data from potential exposure and enhance your online privacy and security.

Is Telegram Safe?

Telegram says it’s super safe because it encrypts messages like WhatsApp does. But they use a fancy protocol called MTProto, which they claim makes it even safer, especially on bad internet connections. However, there’s a catch. When your message reaches Telegram’s servers, it gets decrypted. That means anyone with access to those servers, like Telegram staff, can potentially see your messages. So, while Telegram isn’t totally secure by default, you can beef up your privacy by tweaking some settings and using extra features designed to keep your messages safer from prying eyes.

What Are the Telegram Security Issues?

Telegram has some serious security issues. Below are some of the main security concerns of the messaging app.

  • End-to-End Encryption in Telegram: Limited to Secret Chats

End-to-end encryption, which keeps messages private once they reach Telegram servers, is a crucial feature for privacy. However, in Telegram, this encryption is only available for Secret Chats, not regular private chats. This means sensitive information shared in regular chats could be vulnerable to third parties without users’ knowledge.

  • MTProto Protocol: Limited Testing and Security Flaws

Telegram uses its proprietary encryption protocol, MTProto, which is not as extensively tested as other widely-used protocols. While it’s open-source for scrutiny, researchers have identified security flaws such as message manipulation and vulnerability to attacks like Man-In-The-Middle and timing-based side-channel attacks. Although Telegram has patched known vulnerabilities, there may be more yet to be uncovered through future research.

  • Privacy Policy Concerns

According to Telegram’s privacy policy, certain user metadata like IP addresses and device information are collected and stored for up to a year. In cases where law enforcement suspects a user of terrorism, Telegram may provide the user’s phone number and IP address to relevant authorities upon request.

Using Your Telegram Account Securely

To ensure the safety of your Telegram account, utilize the Secret Chats feature which provides End-to-End encryption, ensuring that only you and the recipient can access the messages exchanged. Within Secret Chats, take advantage of additional privacy features such as self-destructing messages, preventing indefinite retention of sensitive information.

Telegram also restricts message forwarding in Secret Chats and automatically removes deleted messages, enhancing privacy protection. Unlike regular chats, Secret Chats bypass cloud storage, ensuring messages are only accessible on the devices of the sender and recipient, bolstering security against unauthorized access.

Additionally, activate Two-Step Verification (2SV) for an added layer of security, requiring a password in addition to the standard SMS code during login. Consider setting up a passcode or enabling Face ID for extra protection against unauthorized access to your account. Lastly, for individuals concerned about privacy, Telegram offers the option to automatically delete your account after a specified period of inactivity, further safeguarding your personal information from unauthorized access.

By implementing these security measures, you can significantly enhance the privacy and protection of your Telegram account and communications.

Is Telegram Safe for Video Chats?

Telegram offers video calls similar to other platforms, where users can initiate calls, toggle their device camera, and utilize picture-in-picture mode for multitasking. Recently, Telegram introduced a video call feature allowing up to 1,000 participants, with 30 users able to join using their cameras simultaneously, making it ideal for hosting events like webinars or lectures.

The reassuring aspect is that Telegram’s video calls, along with voice calls, are protected by end-to-end encryption, ensuring privacy and security akin to secret chats. This means that Telegram is indeed safe for video calls.

To verify the encryption of your video call, pay attention to four emojis displayed on the screen during the call. If they match, your call is fully secured, providing peace of mind regarding the privacy of your conversations.

Is Telegram Safe to Download?

Downloading the official Telegram app is completely safe, as it does not contain any viruses, malware, or spyware. You can confidently download the app from the official sources provided for various platforms like iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.

It’s crucial to avoid downloading apps from third-party sources, as they may pose security risks. Legitimate app stores for your device, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, ensure that apps are regularly updated and scanned for any malicious software.

If you’re ever unsure about the safety of an app, you can refer to a guide on how to check if an app is safe or seek advice from reliable sources to make informed decisions about downloading apps.

What Data Does Telegram Gather?

Telegram collects and retains various types of user data and message content, including:

  • Unencrypted messages, photos, videos, and files from regular cloud chats.
  • Encrypted photos and videos from secret chats.
  • Phone numbers and contact names from users’ devices.
  • Location data if users share it with the Telegram app.
  • Cookies when utilizing the web version of Telegram.
  • Metadata such as IP addresses, device IDs, and details of different Telegram apps used by the user.

This data is encrypted and stored in third-party data centers located in the Netherlands. However, Telegram’s privacy policy lacks clarity regarding the duration for which they retain users’ personal data. They state that they hold onto it for as long as necessary to provide their services, which is a vague timeframe and could be considered a security flaw in their privacy policies.

Despite this, Telegram has demonstrated a commitment to protecting user data in the past. For instance, in 2013, the company refused to release user data to the Russian government under pressure, and its owner relocated to Dubai to continue operating Telegram under a different government’s jurisdiction.

However, in 2023, Telegram provided user data to German authorities, even after it was revealed that the government had hacked the app and obtained user information illicitly.

Benefits of Using Telegram

Telegram offers several benefits as a secure messenger:

  • End-to-End Encryption: Telegram secures secret chats, ensuring only sender and recipient access.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Use Telegram on mobile and desktop, switching seamlessly.
  • Large Group Capacity: Connect with up to 200,000 members for efficient communication.
  • Customizable Notifications: Tailor alerts for chats or groups, staying informed without overload.
  • File Sharing: Send files up to 2GB securely, including documents, videos, and photos.
  • Channel Broadcasting: Reach a wide audience with broadcast messages for updates or announcements.
  • Cloud Storage: Enjoy free and unlimited storage for messages and media across devices.
  • Open API and Bot Platform: Create custom bots and integrations for various purposes.

While Telegram offers these benefits, users should be cautious of potential downsides like limited encryption options and susceptibility to spam and malware.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Telegram offers a range of features and benefits for messaging, its level of security may not meet the standards of those seeking the utmost privacy and encryption for their communications. For everyday users, Telegram is comparable to traditional messaging apps, but for individuals prioritizing maximum security, exploring alternative messaging platforms with stronger encryption options may be advisable.

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