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Telegram rated ‘critical’ for poor security features

Jonathan Riggall

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German site Test.de looked at the security of five messaging apps, WhatsApp, Telegram, Threema, LINE and BlackBerry Messenger. Newcomer Telegram, which had a huge boost from last weekend’s WhatsApp downtime, gets a ‘Critical’ rating for security, while apart from Threema the rest get ‘Very Critical’.

Telegram claims to have better privacy and security features than the competition, especially WhatsApp, but Test.de found that was only marginal. Telegram uploads your full address book to their servers without asking permission, and only provides end-to-end encryption of chats if you enable it. Normal chats are sent unencrypted. While Telegram is free, one of its creators is a founder of VK, the ‘Russian Facebook’, which is very likely to have an interest in collecting contact details.

Telegram rated ‘critical’ for poor security features

A small consolation for Telegram is that WhatsApp, BBM and LINE are judged as being worse. All of them fail when it comes to encryption, and sharing user data with third parties. Test.de criticizes apps for putting too many clauses in Terms of Agreements that allow them to send data to third parties.

Threema does much better. It’s a paid app that encrypts chats by default, allows you to choose if you want to share your contacts and the Android version sends no user data at all to Threema servers or third parties.

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[Source: Test.de]

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