Government surveillance as well as the threat from hackers all over the Web have both become huge concerns for a lot of users these days. We only have to look at the public's reaction to the recent Apple vs FBI case to see that people aren't happy with the way things are right now. To that end, instant messaging platforms have spent the first part of 2016 upping their game where privacy and encryption are concerned. While Telegram has been championing this fight for some time now, WhatsApp recently joined the party not too long ago, and now popular competitor, Viber, is joining the party as well.
Viber is, in its new version 6.0 bringing end-to-end encryption to all chats, with a new padlock icon to let people know when their conversations are encrypted. This is a hot topic right now, as end-to-end encryption effectively disables the middleman, meaning there's no data in between the two parties (or a group chat) to be picked up on or broken into. This is becoming a fairly standard feature these days, and that's great to see, but Viber have one more trick up their sleeve with this new version; hidden chats. Taking privacy seriously in their new version, Viber will allow users to hide chats on their device, putting a group chat or one-on-one chat with someone else out of the view of the rest of your conversations. It's an interesting concept, and something that we have to wonder why hasn't been added before now, but lots of users will no doubt be happy to see this new feature.
With this new update, Viber becomes a strong competitor to WhatsApp and Telegram. Considering that the service is popular in South East Asia more than anywhere else around the world, it's possible that Viber will find themselves in hot water over these changes, but even so it will only go to further highlight the issue of encryption and government surveillance. If you've yet to give Viber a try, and are intrigued by this newfound approach to encryption and privacy, clicking the big button below will take you to the Play Store to give it a try.