If you are a user of Facebook Messenger then now would be a time to think about its alternatives.
Recently, Facebook revealed a major security feature for Messenger that allows users to unlock their chat messages by scanning faces (Biometric feature) on iOS. However, the sad truth is that Facebook Messenger is lacking on the security front and that issue Facebook can't easily fix.
While announcing its latest security feature update for Messenger, Facebook told that this biometric app lock feature would add an additional layer of security to your private chat messages and prevent other people from accessing those private chat messages.
However, unfortunately, this security update is like adding additional locks to the front door of a bank while leaving the vault wide open.
There are many alternatives that offer most of the similar functionality without the risks. That's why now it's time to switch.
What's The Problem?
The problem is — encryption. End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is the only way if you want to improve user security and privacy.
Do not take my words for this. Facebook itself warns the users of the risks when messages aren't end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) when they introduced its "Secret conversations" in 2017.
Secret conversions enable opt-in end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for specific user-to-user Messenger chats (means intended just for you and the user you're talking to) not for group chats and not by default. It also implies that messages are not accessed by other than you and the person you're talking to.
Facebook itself created a major problem for Messenger and accepted that the complexity of adding end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to Messenger takes years. That's why you're not as secure as you should be.
Users who use Facebook Messenger for communication must understand the real threat to their information. Many users think that the information in their messages is not personal or sensitive but the real issue is that any type of information about you in the wrong hands opens up the possibility of abuse.
If you are in doubt then take a look at what happened to Twitter recently. Hackers hacked over 100 accounts of famous Twitter users and entered to their private messages because Twitter DMs (Direct Messages) are not end-to-end encrypted just like Facebook Messenger.
The Twitter massive hack mainly highlighted the flaw of the approach where the platform keeps the keys to decrypt your private sensitive conversations. These keys can be used if requested by the FBI. However, there is also a risk that hackers could use them or trick the platform's employees into doing the same.
The benefit of using end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is that information can be kept secure even in the event of a data breach because the service provider itself and hackers are unable to decrypt the user information.
Users should be able to communicate securely and privately with their friends without anyone monitoring or listening to their conversations (including Facebook). Also, users should be able to send private sensitive information like medical data, payment details, etc. with the belief that they will not fall into the wrong hands.
So, to all who still using Facebook Messenger because it's user-friendly, now you have an option. Use alternative platform which offers most of the similar functionality without the risks or stick with this lack of security for the next few years.
This advice will change, whenever Facebook Messenger does end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default. Until then, I suggest that use alternative platforms like Signal or Telegram.
If you have any questions related to the Facebook Messenger and also want to share your views on this then please mention in the comments box and I will get back to you.