Digital Marketing

Is SMS messaging secure?

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We all use SMS messaging daily. To communicate with loved ones, to complete administrative tasks, and so much more. The beauty of sending a message is that it will be opened and it will be seen in a short space of time. And most of the time our safety isn’t an issue. But how safe is it really to send messages in this way? Turns out, not always 100% safe.

“Unfortunately, with normal SMS [text messages] you have very little privacy because they’re not encrypted,” said Micah Lee, a security technologist in San Francisco who works to help protect journalists from hacking, to USA Today.

“There are a lot of different things to be concerned about, like private messages with your boyfriend or girlfriend, trade secrets if you’re starting businesses, or say you’re an activist trying to organize a local protest.”

Additional security for mobile phones

Last year, messaging service WhatsApp promised "end-to-end encryption" on all content sent by any one of its users to another of its users. That's more than one billion people and counting.

“Privacy and security are in our DNA, which is why we have end-to-end encryption in the latest versions of our app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands,” said WhatsApp.

WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. Your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read your message. For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.

How can you ensure your SMS messaging is secure?

FaceTime and iMessage are two other services which offer the same levels of protection. But, regular text messages aren’t encrypted at all. Other user-favorite chat apps including Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Kik, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger only offer in-transit encryption, which means they could be accessed by a third party.

If you’re not able to message your friends, family, and customers using any of these applications, consider using Signal for Android. Using it enables you to encrypt both your texts and phone calls. Another option for Android users is the Knox app. It's unique in that it works via a chip embedded in the phone itself.

Should you be using SMS messaging to communicate with customers?

Yes! You should definitely be using SMS to get in touch with your customers. It turns out a massive majority of your customers want to use SMS to solve their queries. Your customers have their phones in their hands constantly and they’d rather use it in their hands than at their ears.

And how can you safely use it to communicate with consumers?

It’s important that you install additional security for mobile phones. You could use encryption software so you can safely text customers. For example, Clickatell Platform is 100% secure and allows you to communicate with customers effectively and securely. You should also develop a text usage policy which ensures only certain people are authorized to send messages and stipulates which messages may be sent.

 

If you’d like to learn more about how to use SMS marketing for improved customer service, read our recent article. It details tips on how to use SMS messaging effectively for quick, easy, and effective communication with your customers.

 

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