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Google Hangouts Gets Ranked Against Other Messaging Apps For Security By EFF

November 5, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

When we think about messaging these days likely a couple things come to mind in terms of what we’re looking for. One being whether or not the app will be easily integratable with other apps we already use. The other probably being security. Security is a big thing these days and if any time was a good time to be looking at a secure solution for messaging it would be now. While many of today’s top messaging apps have some sort of security features set in place, it can be good to have an idea on which ones exactly are the most secure. Where does your messaging app rank against others? EFF wanted to find out so they set up to rank popular messaging apps like Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger among others.

In the EFF’s(Electronic Frontier Foundation)Secure Messaging Scorecard, they set out to find which messaging apps and tools give you true safe and secure messages which is important in the light of growing internet surveillance. Hangouts actually ranked quite low having lacked end to end encryption, but it certainly wasn’t the worst messaging app on the scorecard. That title belongs to either Blackberry messenger, AIM, or a number of other messaging apps listed, having only met one criteria for a truly secure messaging app out of a total of seven.

The scorecard includes plenty of other communication apps and services, like Secret, iMessage, Facetime, Viber and many others. Apps like CrytoCat and ChatSecure score greenlit across the board having met all seven criteria including in transit encryption, encryption that blocks the provider’s ability to read the messages,(basically the end to end encryption) open, independent code that can be reviewed, and code auditing. Snapchat scored fairly poor as well, but as we stated they aren’t alone with several of the apps only meeting in transit encryption but nothing else. If anything the scorecard serves as an eye opener to just how secure the apps we use to message really are. EFF puts many popular apps on the spot as they mention that more than a few lack end to end encryption. To many of us this may not actually matter, but perhaps it should, and for those that are actually concerned with this sort of information, it might be a good idea to consider something a little more secure if you’re looking for that type of thing. What do you think of the scorecard report? Are you surprised at all by any of the stats?