Apple claims that they have one of the safest ecosystems, and with the iPhone, users are in complete control of their privacy and data. While many people buy into Apple’s claims, and there are cases where Apple’s words have proven to be accurate, security experts worldwide believe that users need to be proactive about their privacy, irrespective of what device or smartphone they use.
Apple security expert and the CEO of Spylix, Steven Walker, has stated in an interview that, irrespective of what Apple claims, people should be wary of one app in particular and not install it on their iPhones. That app is Facebook Messenger.
Spylix is a phone tracking app that government agencies use worldwide. Walker believes that just because an app is top-rated, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. He also says that because of Facebook Messenger’s popularity, people often do not think it is a complex application.
The main reason why Walker believes that Facebook Messenger compromises a user’s privacy and data is twofold. Firstly, it is owned by Meta, formerly owned by Facebook, a company that does not have a clean track record for using data from users on their platform. Secondly, and this is the more pertinent reason for Walker, is the fact that Facebook Messenger doesn’t have end-to-end encryption.
Walker believes that there are several other instant messaging options that users can go for. Even though Facebook owns it, WhatsApp is much more secure than Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp has about 2 billion active users worldwide, almost double of Facebook Messenger.
Then there are apps like Telegram and Signal. Although they aren’t nearly as popular as WhatsApp, both have been developed, keeping security and privacy in mind. Apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram offer end-to-end encryption, which is increasingly becoming vital in instant messaging apps.
Meta has claimed they are working on end-to-end encryption, but they have walked back on their deadlines quite a few times. Initially, Facebook Messenger was supposed to get end-to-end encryption by 2022. Now, Facebook has pushed the deadline to 2023. People at Meta say they are concerned about bad actors abusing end-to-end encryption, so they want to take their time to get the system right. If that were indeed the case, one cannot help but wonder, how is it that such concerns aren’t an issue for WhatsApp.