Is Telegram Safe A Look At Some Of The App's Pros & Cons

Is Telegram Safe? A Look At Some Of The App’s Pros & Cons

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Is Telegram Safe A Look At Some Of The App’s Pros & Cons: Telegram, which was founded in 2013 by two brothers, is currently the third-largest messaging app with more than 800 million users globally. The programme is renowned for its openness to trying out novel features, some of which have gained enough traction to be included in rival messaging apps. For instance, a lot of the top hidden features of WhatsApp that you should be aware of were initially tested on Telegram.

Although Telegram and WhatsApp aren’t the most popular communication apps in the US, individuals in other countries, such as Malaysia, Brazil, and India, are well familiar with them. The app’s widespread appeal can be attributed, in part, to its versatility and accessibility on several platforms.

Over time, privacy and safety groups have expressed worries about Telegram’s growing popularity. This raises the question of how secure Telegram really is. Is it reliable enough to help you and your loved ones have conversations? Although the obvious answer would seem to be “yes,” Telegram has unique privacy and security features. Additionally, Telegram’s approach differs significantly from those of other well-known messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Signal, and Apple’s iMessage on a few contentious regulations. Let’s examine each of these concerns.

Why end-to-end encryption matters

Is Telegram Safe? A Look At Some Of The App's Pros & Cons

Even if it would be amazing, messages and media that you send to friends on different countries don’t go straight from your device to theirs. Data must be kept in a data centre that responds to these queries momentarily. So, is a cunning worker at Meta or Telegram reading your chats? The solution to this issue is end-to-end encryption, or E2EE.

Sending and receiving messages is how E2EE operates. Before being uploaded to the cloud, the content you provide is first encrypted, or jumbled up, using a “public key.” The recipient’s device and this public key are matched using a “private key,” which is the only way the recipient may decrypt the communication. E2EE is used by many well-known messaging programmes, such as Telegram. However, their approaches to utilising this technology vary slightly.

The speed at which you can access your chats on other platforms using Telegram is one of its strongest advantages. This is not always the case with other services, like when you try to set up WhatsApp on many devices. It takes a few seconds for subsequent device logins to the same account to safely get your messages from the host device. Because your chats aren’t really E2EE by default, Telegram is able to achieve immediate message retrieval times across various devices.

Turning on end-to-end encryption is an option.

Is Telegram Safe? A Look At Some Of The App's Pros & Cons


Your discussions are not accessible to Telegram only because E2EE isn’t present. Prior to being uploaded to the server, your communications are encrypted; they are decrypted when they are delivered. The decryption key is kept on Telegram’s cloud server instead of on your device, in contrast to conventional E2EE.Telegram may appear extremely quick while navigating between devices because of this.

Telegram doesn’t want to decrypt your communications, but there’s always a chance that someone may hack into their servers and take use of the encryption key to unlock your encrypted chats. With its “Secret Chat” feature, the app does provide a means of having entirely E2EE chats in response to this.

To get this, launch a Telegram chat, tap the contact name to view the person’s full profile. Choose “Start Secret Chat” by tapping on the three-dotted menu located on the right. You and the person on the other end are the only ones who can access any files, messages, or images you transmit in this new chat. E2EE chats will show up in your Telegram inbox as individual chats.

It is also possible to create self-destruct timings that will destroy your messages from both ends after as little as one second or up to one week. There is a drawback to this additional security. Your Telegram private conversations are device-specific and inaccessible from other phones or computers that are signed into the same account.

You have numerous privacy settings.

Is Telegram Safe? A Look At Some Of The App's Pros & Cons


With Telegram, you can have more precise privacy restrictions. Under Settings > Privacy and Security > Calls, you can add exceptions if you don’t want to receive calls from specific contacts. You may adjust the privacy settings for your phone number, profile picture, and last seen from this page as well. You also have the option to choose who can send you voice messages if you have Telegram’s premium plan.

If you haven’t opened Telegram in a while, your account will be immediately deactivated, depending on the duration you selected. This can be modified from the default setting of six months to one, three, or twelve months. One more benefit of storing your conversations in a public cloud is that you won’t ever need to worry about message backups.

Telegram claims that it doesn’t use user data for advertising purposes, thus it can’t send you targeted ads.However, it does provide an avenue for advertisers to distribute advertising to public channels. These advertisements are based on the subject matter of the channel rather than the data pertaining to its users. Therefore, adverts shouldn’t affect your privacy in theory.

Watching out for contacts access and bots

Similar to Facebook Messenger, third-party developers’ bots are usable on Telegram. Numerous bots are capable of tasks including obtaining the day forecast, planning messages, and organising a to-do list inside the programme. Telegram advises users to interact and share information with trustworthy bots only, as they are useful but can read the messages you give them.

Constant notifications whenever a contact you know joins Telegram is another common problem. Not only is this annoying, but it also shows how the app manages other people’s access to your contact details.

Unchecking the “Sync Contacts” checkbox under Settings > Privacy & Security will halt this behaviour. It is also an option to remove all Telegram contacts that are synchronised. Additionally, the messaging app offers a function called “People Nearby” that lets you see nearby active people based on your location. Thankfully, Telegram allows you to disable this location feature, which removes you from the map.

Worries regarding the censorship of content

Is Telegram Safe? A Look At Some Of The App's Pros & Cons


Once fixed, the two privacy features might not be a big deal, but Telegram’s famed lack of moderation has made it a haven for hackers. Once only available through the dark web, tutorials and material about hacking and phishing have been discovered to be openly available in Telegram channels under the guise of instructional courses.

Terrorist and extremist groups also communicated with each other over Telegram. The inventor of Telegram, Pavel Durov, contended in 2015 that user privacy was more significant than moderation efforts. Since then, the business has collaborated with Europol and other groups to assist in removing terrorist material from its website.

According to NBC News, there have also been instances of Telegram channels pretending to be medical experts and offering phoney Covid-19 immunisation certificates for several hundred dollars, along with other medications. Concerns about scammers spreading false information have also grown, particularly among anti-vaxers.

Essentially, Telegram’s openness contributed to its popularity, but it also makes it a platform that users should exercise caution on. It’s wise to be wary of any unfamiliar contacts and public channels you find on Telegram, even while steps are being taken to stop extremist groups and scammers from misusing the platform.


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Q&A

Q: Is Telegram safe to use?

A: Ah, the million-dollar question! Well, let’s break it down and weigh the pros and cons.

Q: Okay, what are some of the pros of using Telegram?

A: One big pro is its strong encryption. Your messages are kept under lock and key, making it tough for snoops to pry into your chats. Plus, it’s got some nifty features like secret chats that self-destruct.

Q: Sounds promising. Are there any other pros?

A: Definitely! Telegram boasts speedy delivery of messages and supports a wide range of file types, from photos to documents. Plus, it’s pretty user-friendly, with a sleek interface that’s easy on the eyes.

Q: Nice! But what about the cons?

A: Well, one downside is that while Telegram’s encryption is strong, it’s not end-to-end by default. That means your messages could potentially be intercepted if someone manages to hack into Telegram’s servers.

Q: That’s a bit concerning. Any other cons we should know about?

A: Some critics also point out that Telegram’s stance on privacy can be a bit murky. It’s not as transparent as some other messaging apps when it comes to how it handles user data.

Q: Hmm, good to know. So, is Telegram ultimately safe to use?

A: Well, it’s definitely got some strong security features, but like any app, it’s not foolproof. As long as you’re mindful of what you share and who you’re chatting with, you can enjoy the benefits of Telegram while staying relatively safe.


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