Online communication comprises text messages, social media, emails, and chat apps today. In addition to keeping us connected at all times, this also means that a digital record of our conversation may be accessible without our consent or knowledge.
- Ephemeral or self-destructing messaging apps like Snapchat and Confide are designed to prevent screenshots and give you control over how long your messages are visible before they disappear forever.
- Snapchat became popular primarily for its impermanent messaging system. When you send a Snap, the receiver only views it for 1 to 10 seconds before it self-destructs. You’ll get notified if someone takes a screenshot of your Snapchat message, acting as a deterrent.
- Confide is another ephemeral app that prevents screenshots. Its key privacy feature is its “screen shield” which blocks anyone from capturing, copying, or pasting anything from your Confide messages. Text appears as blurred lines that only be revealed word-by-word as the recipient taps on the screen. The message is immediately deleted after it has been read.
The temporary nature of ephemeral apps reduces the risks associated with your chat logs being viewed without authorization. The content essentially evaporates after being viewed.
Your conversations stay secure whilst in transit and after delivery with end-to-end encryption. It prevents third parties, including the platform provider itself, from accessing your messages. Signal and WhatsApp provide E2EE for your communications by default. The encryption keys required to decipher messages reside only on each user’s device. Not even company employees decrypt them. It protects you in case the servers ever get compromised. For apps without built-in E2EE like Facebook Messenger, you consider using an encryption app like Signal to manage your sensitive messages. It provides a private encrypted mailbox to exchange end-to-end protected texts, files, photos, and videos.
Destroying chat logs
- Delete conversations from the app interface itself. However, the platform may retain message history on its servers.
- Clear the cache and data from the app settings on your phone. It will wipe the local chat logs.
- Perform a factory reset on your device to obliterate all app data including chat history.
- Request the platform to erase your message history and account information.
- Use a mobile phone data eraser app to overwrite cached messages and make them unrecoverable.
Eliminating chat logs requires removing all traces from your phone and requesting their deletion from the platform’s cloud servers.
This free web application private text messages entered on their site and generates a unique link. You send this Privacy Note to the recipient via email or messaging apps. After opening the link, you must read the message once. Privnote’s servers will then permanently delete the data. Privnote messages are also automatically deleted after a set period of time.