Privacy has been a big part of the conversation in the last few years. And Facebook and WhatsApp have been at the forefront of it. It’s no surprise considering we are living in the era of data privacy.
As they so very often say, data is the new oil. Wars will be fought for it and god knows some of them are already in motion. So, if you are an avid WhatsApp user and it’s something that has been on your mind for a while, you might want to keep reading.
Have You Heard of Kibo?
If you want to send secret messages but don’t want to move out of the seemingly warm comfort of WhatsApp, don’t worry. There are ways to do it. Here’s one.
If you haven’t heard of it already, Kibo is an app that was designed to keep messages away from peepers. Its elegance lies in the simplicity of it. This is actually just a keyboard (you see where it gets its name from now, don’t you?) that lets you create secret chats on the platform.
Of course, you can also use it on other platforms like iMessage, Facebook, Skype and such.
What it does is, your actual messages are replaced with preset phrases. Here’s how you use it.
- Download and install Kibo for free from the App Store.
- Add the keyboard and check your iPhone settings.
- In Settings, go to ‘Keyboard’ and select ‘Add A Keyboard’ option. You will see Kibo in the list since you have already installed it.
- Go back to the Kibo app and enable the ‘Dictionary’ option. While you are there, locate a globe icon and tap on it. Enable the ‘English US’ option for your dictionary.
- Now come back to WhatsApp and type a message. This is the step where the locking happens. Before you hit send, tap on the Kibo icon. There will be a lock symbol and once you tap on that, the message will be replaced with a preset phrase.
- If you received a message in this manner, you must tap on the unlock option to see the real message.
You can also do the same for images, by the way. Using Kibo you can keep your data secure in the easiest possible way.
At the moment this app is only for iPhone users and you can get it for free from the App Store. Just remember that the friend you are sending this message to must also have the Kibo app installed. Otherwise, they will not be able to see what you sent them.
Have You Heard of Secure Text
The second option we have for you to encrypt your messages is also a keyboard solution. This one is called Secure Text and is available for Android users too. Secure Text is also fairly easy to use.
It basically involves two really simple steps and the result will be secure conversations whether that is on WhatsApp or email.
Step 1: Download the keyboard from App Store or Google Play Store.There are also several mirrors available online. You can download the APK file and transfer it to an Android device.
Side Note: If you are going to download it from a third-party website, when you transfer it to your phone, you will need to change your settings. Go to ‘Settings’ on your phone and tap on ‘Security’.
Then, tap on the ‘Unknown Sources’ button. This lets your phone install applications from a source that is not the App Store or Google Play Store.
If you are doing this on an Android phone, you will get a prompt when you click on the APK file in your File Manager.
Step 2: Once the installation is done, locate the Secure Text app on your phone. Enter the message you want to encrypt and tap yes when you get a prompt. It is recommended that you read all prompts (when there is more than one) on the screen.
If you didn’t know it already, Android Package Kit or APK files are raw files of an app just the way Windows has .exe files. It is used by the operating system to install apps on your phone.
A question that many users have is if these APK files are safe. The answer is yes if you got it from a fairly trusted website.
In some countries, though, apps like these are banned because WhatsApp does not like that you keep secrets from it (jeez, wonder why!). So, you might want to keep that in mind if the keyboard does not work for some reason.
Other Ways to Send Secret Messages?
You bet. You can use another app called EncryptChat (no spaces) which is a free app that is available to both Android and iPhone users. This one also lets you send encrypted messages through your phone.
The recipient of these messages can read them only through a password. And you can use it across platforms other than WhatsApp like Facebook and iMessage, to give you a couple of examples.
Now, here’s how you get started.
Step 1: Download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Install it.
Step 2: Open the app on your phone and type in the message.
Step 3: Enter a password and tap on the ‘Encrypt’ button.
Step 4: Tap on the ‘Share’ button and send it to the intended recipient from the platform you want to use.
Step 5: The person on the other side will get a code that must be copied and pasted into EncryptChat. Yes, they must also have the app installed on their phone.
Step 6: They will also enter the same password that you did and voila! There it is.
The Bottom Line
You can also use other apps like Telegram and Signal which are gaining popularity because of their privacy upgrades. These are now being considered very effective alternatives to WhatsApp in case the alternate keyboards don’t make you feel safe enough.