Social media has made connecting with friends and family super easy in recent years. Facebook is a great place to share your adventures, see what others in your circle are up to or just say a quick hello. But what if you want to have a private conversation with someone and don't want anyone else to know about it?
Well now Facebook is adding a feature that will make you feel like a top-secret agent right out of "Mission Impossible."
Facebook recently announced it will be adding an encryption feature to its Messenger app. The feature will allow users to have 'secret conversations' that no one else will be able to access. Only the sender and recipient can see the messages and only on one device of their choosing. There will even be a self-destruct option for all of the messages inside of the thread.
The end-to-end encryption feature is the same service used in the Facebook owned, Whatsapp. It will make it impossible for hackers, governments, telecoms and even Facebook itself to read these conversations. It is expected to be available to everyone later in the summer, as it is currently still in the testing phase.
Activating The Encryption
- The first step in using this feature is to select the device you want to have the conversation on. Keep in mind the device you choose is the only device you will be able to see these messages on.
- Next you will select the person you want to have the secret conversation with. Click on the person in your list of contacts and it will open up a screen with their details.
- Click the secret conversation option on the contact's details screen.
- Then you need to decide if you want the message to self-destruct. If you do, scroll through the available length of times listed and set the timer.
- Once you have made your selections the message is ready to send. As soon as you send the message you will see a notification telling you when it will disappear.
End-to-end encryption is something I'm usually a huge fan of. It definitely has it's benefits and offers an added layer of security when it comes to keeping conversations private. That's why the government hasn't been so fond of tech companies beefing up their encryption features. It makes it harder for them to access records that could be used to help convict criminals.
This brings up a valid point. Using encrypted messaging can be used for a lot of things both good and bad. Users can feel safe now sending personal information like banking details or social security numbers. Others might choose to use it when they are up to no good. Cheating partners, for example, could use this feature to communicate privately with one another. And, as was pointed out by the whole Apple versus the FBI debacle, it could even be used by someone planning a terrorist attack.
In the case self-destructing messages, overall, the pros do outweigh the cons. However, there is a bigger discussion that needs to take place here. What do you think? Do you feel this new feature will make it easier for people to deceive one another? Share your thoughts in the comments.