The developers of the Signal app have announced a new update which will make the increasingly popular app more capable of offering users an even higher security standard.
The Signal app is an encrypted messaging service developed by Open Whisper Systems. The application seeks to make it easier for its users to verify the privacy and security of their online conversations.
A Signal app user can test the privacy and security of their conversations through a number of simple measures.
One of them would be the scanning of a QR code whilst the other would have them compare a set of numbers.
The number comparison or QR scan is available to any user as long as both parties involved in the conversation have the app and have an Internet connection.
Still, the steps towards a safer conversation will now be easier as the Signal app will be getting an update which will simplify the process.
According to its developers, Open Whisper System, the steps were somewhat unclear. They went to state that even after the mechanisms had been explained, some user found it difficult to proceed with using the app.
The company’s user studies went to show that the comparison results in such cases were quite unsuccessful. This was due, in part, to the often false positive or negative results garnered by the tests.
However, the new update should come to both simplify the testing methods and to ensure better, more accurate results.
As the Signal app offers its users the chance to encrypt their conversations, confusions have sometimes also led to some privacy issues.
The new Open Whisper System updates should as such come and clear the confusions as they will be modifying the app’s security approach.
From now on, users will only have to scan one instead of two QR codes so as to verify their conversations.
The security codes which will have to be compared will now only include safety numbers and will no longer involve telephone numbers.
As such, people should be protected from unwillingly revealing their phone numbers when verifying their privacy.
The update will also increase their security even in cases when someone else known a user’s digital fingerprint.
Although they will be able to see the contact, the digital snoops will no longer be able to read the respective revealed chats.
Another possible issue was related to app reinstalls and changed phones. The new Signal app has an “advisory mode”. An optional mode which is still being tested, by default it is turned off but come to be a fixed app feature.
The advisory mode will point out if a safety number has changed, but will not stop the user from talking with the other respective conversation participant.
According to Signal app co-founder, Moxie Marlinspike, the app downloads have also recently increased by about 400 percent.
The rise in percentage came after the recent election, and although the reasons for its rise may be odd, the app should account for a safer and more private conversation.
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