Enable Encrypted Chats in Facebook Messenger

(Pocket Ribbon) – Facebook Messenger is getting an update that will allow anyone to encrypt their direct messages, group chats, and calls.

Facebook first started experimenting with end-to-end encryption (E2EE) about six years ago. And it’s been a while before the company, now called Meta, finally rolled out the optional privacy feature to everyone on Messenger. Meta indicated that it is still considering making E2EE the standard in Messenger, but that probably won’t happen until next year at the earliest, and it’s something that could face a lot of resistance from regulators.

How to Sign Up to Secure Encrypted Chats in Facebook Messenger

There are two ways Messenger users can opt-in to use end-to-encryption:

Disappear Mode: Swipe up on an existing chat to enter a new one where messages automatically disappear when the window is closed.

Secret Conversations (first introduced in 2016): You can enable that when you start a new chat by turning on the lock icon in the corner.

Do encrypted Messenger chats support GIFs and other features?

While you’re in an encrypted chat, you can still use GIFs, stickers, comments, and long presses to reply to or forward messages. Encrypted chats now also support verified badges so people can identify authentic accounts. And while you can store media exchanged in encrypted chats, a screenshot notification is rolling out in Q1 2022. That means, just like with Snapchat, you’ll get a notification if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation in an encrypted chat.

What does end-to-end encryption mean?

End-to-end encryption, when it comes to chats, means that only the sender and recipient of a particular message can see the content of that message. In fact, it is a secure communication method that prevents cyber criminals, hackers, telecom companies and even governments from accessing the messages you have sent or received. In terms of Facebook Messenger, not only are your direct messages completely encrypted, but so are your group chats and calls.

The idea behind end-to-end encryption is that your messages, media and calls are now protected from falling into the wrong hands.

Written by Maggie Tillman.

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