Facebook is making video and voice calls more secure on Messenger.
Facebook is expanding end-to-end encryption to Messenger voice and video calls, as well as direct messages (DMs) on Instagram. Turning on the feature will let users communicate securely, whether over calls or text messages.
Facebook Brings End-to-End Encryption to More Services
A post on Messenger News revealed that Facebook is amping up security on both Messenger and Instagram. Facebook started offering encrypted messaging on Messenger in 2016, and now that same protection is offered for voice and video calls.
Facebook noted that having end-to-end encryption “means that nobody else, including Facebook, can see or listen to what’s sent or said.” End-to-end encryption is put in place to prevent bad actors from listening in on phone calls and messages—it keeps the conversation between you and whoever you’re talking to.
The platform also announced that it’s testing end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls in Messenger. It’s even expanding the initiative to Instagram, where it’s testing end-to-end encryption for DMs. Facebook said that the test will be “limited,” and will only pertain to one-on-one conversations on the platform.
However, Instagram users will have to opt-in to end-to-end encryption, much like you have to do on Messenger. This has become a source of controversy, as some Messenger users think their conversations are protected, but fail to turn on the end-to-end encryption setting.
Unfortunately, this update doesn’t turn on end-to-end encryption by default on Messenger—you’ll still have to toggle the setting on for calls and texts. Messenger’s privacy page states that the app “will become end-to-end encrypted by default,” but it doesn’t look like that’s about to happen anytime soon.
Aside from expanding end-to-end encryption, Facebook also said that it’s giving users more control over their disappearing messages. Users in the chat can choose from a wider range of times when it comes to how long it takes for new messages to disappear. You’ll now be able to choose from anywhere between five seconds and 24 hours.
Facebook Adapts to Growing Security Awareness Among Users
Many messaging apps, such as Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram already use end-to-end encryption. More users are prioritizing their security, and that means limiting the communication apps they use to those that offer end-to-end encryption.
That said, Facebook doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to security, and its expansion of end-to-end encryption doesn’t necessarily make its apps more appealing security-wise.
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