If you think it is time to re-evaluate the privacy and security features of your messaging app: you're not alone: many others around the world are doing the same, including The White House. This article will explore a comparison between up and coming messaging application SnatchApp and established names in the industry, WeChat and WhatsApp. Particular attention will be paid to the individual application's safety and security features. Safety and security features are typically ranked highly among users. Security features that will be explored include:
Disappearing & hiding messages
Secure texting and voice and video calling
Brothers and co-founders of SnatchApp, Avi and Henri Benezra, have highlighted how important user privacy and security is to the company. Avi Benezra (CTO) has mentioned why prioritising user privacy and overall security is one of the company missions by saying, "Developing a messaging application that provides innovative methods of protecting user privacy has been one of our goals since SnatchApp's inception. We want our users to have 100% control and privacy over the content they choose to share."
What exactly does 'end-to-end encryption' mean? Put plainly, this is a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. No third party, i.e. the application you are using, should be able to decrypt the messages and access your text/media. Therefore, privacy and security remain protected.
SnatchApp: Does provide end-to-end encryption. The encryption is multi-layered for increased peer-to-peer communication protection. Additionally, the user's messages are not stored by the application after they have been delivered.
WeChat: This application famously does not provide end-to-end encryption to its users. There is no setting in place to help prevent third parties from accessing your private information.
WhatsApp: Does provide end-to-end encryption. No third party will be able to access your personal messages.
Disappearing & hiding messages
This is an interesting feature which can provide many uses as well as benefits for a messaging application. The way it operates is that users simply set when they would like the message to "destruct" and the sent message will disappear when the timer goes off. The timer can be set for a few seconds or even for a few hours which offers great flexibility of communication between users. When would this feature be useful? Protecting privacy is typically at the top of many application-users' lists, particularly applications that deal with text, audio and video communications.
Example: You need to send your credit card pin code to your son who is purchasing some items on your behalf. Banking and account information is particularly sensitive and must be discussed only in the safest of situations. This feature will allow you to send the code and set a message expiration time. Therefore, should anyone get hold of your phone without your permission, they will not be able to read your private messages as, if you set them to disappear, they will not be there for intruders to read thanks to this feature.
SnatchApp: Does have the disappearing and hiding messages feature.
WeChat: While there is no option to hide your messages with this messaging application, users are able to unsend messages, and therefore, in a way, make messages disappear. Therefore, once a message is unsent, neither the sender nor the receiver will be able to read it as it will no longer be there.
WhatsApp: Does not have the disappearing and hiding messages feature. However, it has been reported that this feature is under development for the application.
Note: With SnatchApp, users are able to send a verified encryption key to others to protect the contents of the message even further. SnatchApp ensures each encryption key is distributed securely between sender and receiver.
Not to be confused with the above feature of 'hiding messages', is hidden messaging. A familiar situation to many would be that someone peeked over their shoulder and read a private message intended only for the receiver. Do any of the messaging applications employ a hidden messaging system?
SnatchApp: Yes, SnatchApp allows a sender to send a message with an envelope. An envelope appears first on the receiver's device, displaying an envelope and not the private message. The message is hidden and sensitive messages are protected.
WeChat: Does not have the hidden messaging feature.
WhatsApp: Not hidden messaging per se, but you are able to create hidden chats or hidden conversations with WhatsApp. This allows users to set up private conversations with specific contacts.
Secure texting and voice and video calling
To know that your texts and calls are safe and hidden from spying ears and eyes is a comfort most need to have when dealing with the online world. Choosing a messaging application that provides you with this feature can be a make or break deal for some. Which of our chosen applications has this feature?
SnatchApp: Yes, all texting, voice and video calling is secure and encrypted.
WeChat: No, this has the potential to make your texts, voice and video calls vulnerable to hackers.
WhatsApp: Yes, all texting, voice and video calling is secure and encrypted.
Choosing your online status setting varies from person to person. Some like to display when they are online, others like to remain incognito to avoid answering messages while others do not even know what their setting is. The point is, it is nice to have the option. Whatever you set your status to is completely up to you and in the user's control. Additionally, it is advantageous to have the feature that permits users to control the delivery status of the messages that contacts send you.
SnatchApp: Allows you to choose whether or not to show you are online. This application also allows users to control the delivery status of the messages that others send you.
WeChat: There is no alert or marker indicating a user's online status.
WhatsApp: This application will show that you are online whenever you click to enter the application. Unfortunately, there is no setting option to change this. WhatsApp indicates when a message has been read with a blue tick. This can be changed to avoid this. However, people who have sent you messages will not be able to see whether you have read their message or not and similarly, when you send messages out, you will not be able to see whether the recipients have read your messages.
If one takes a step back, the security and privacy features offered by SnatchApp are not only inventive and unique, but are also valuable to the user - hence not surprising that the media hailed this as a revolution in messaging apps. Compared to the company's competitors, SnatchApp may offer features others do not. It is important to consider the features of disappearing and hiding messages, hidden messaging, end-to-end encryption and controlling one's online status. Major competitor, WhatsApp, does not offer all of these features, neither does WeChat, Skype or Zoom. Therefore, this messaging application may be able to fill any gaps in your online communication channels/methods. It is clear that SnatchApp has a company mission of protecting user privacy and not only matches up to industry giants, but -in certain areas- defeats them.
To try out the most appropriate version of Snatch App for your device, select one of these options:
Snatch App Web: https://snatchapp.me/en/
iOS version: https://apps.apple.com/app/snatch-app/id1225178149
Android Version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Snatch App