How “Private” Are Your SMS Text Messages, Really?

cloud on keyboardMillions of Americans depend on their wireless data plans to communicate with each other. It was in 2013 that data plan revenue officially surpassed that of voice-only services, and many industry watchdogs are predicting that data use will officially overtake voice in less than two years. A major reason for this push is that Americans are more inclined to text with one another than actually speak over the phone.

There are a lot of benefits to short message service (SMS), but convenience is easily number one. You can text from almost anywhere that you have a connection, allowing you to keep conversations theoretically “private” no matter where you are. Along with offering discretion, it’s often quicker to send someone a text message than to place a call, especially if the recipient can’t or isn’t available to answer. SMS has so much taken on a life of its own that it has even pushed emojis, emoticons and hashtags into the spoken American vernacular.

But when you’re texting others on SMS networks, are you really keeping your thoughts and information “private” simply by keeping them written down instead of spoken? Just because those in the immediate vicinity may not be able to hear what you’re saying, can you really guarantee that the content you share over SMS is strictly staying on your end-to-end connection?

SMS can be extremely insecure

The sad truth is that, more often than not, you really can’t guarantee that your SMS is adequately secure. Only recently has WhatsApp, a very popular instant SMS application, announced that it has deployed end-to-end encryption to secure conversations between intended participants. Many users were surprised to learn that such a feature wasn’t already in place, which prompted USA Today to look into the security features on a number of other popular text services.

What researchers found was that very few of the standard SMS options have any encryption in place to secure conversations. Standard text messaging from a service provider is one such culprit, while apps like Facebook Messenger, Shapchat and Skype only offer in-transit encryption, which leaves conversations vulnerable to third parties. This gets even more complicated when individuals are communicating with each other on multiple SMS apps, since the protections in place to encrypt a message may only work end-to-end when exchanged on the same platform.

For businesses, encryption is a must

All of this is troubling from a personal information standpoint, but for those with a business interest to  consider, it can be devastating. Because so many companies rely on applications and software like Skype-for-Business to keep different employees and branch offices in touch with each other, they may unintentionally be passing information over an insecure or unreliable connection that could be privy to a third party.

The Fasetto app offers a safe, secure alternative to SMS text messaging that allows different parties to share messages, as well as larger files and business-critical data, over a private connection. Don’t rely on your default texting service or an SMS app when your business’ bottom line, or your own individual privacy, is at stake.

To learn more about the Fasetto app and our other products and services, visit our main site today!


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