Facebook now lets you encrypt all of your Facebook Messenger conversations. Unfortunately, the feature, called Secret Conversations, isn’t automatically switched on. This means you have to manually enable encryption on each and every conversation you have. Still, it’s worth the extra effort.
End-to-encryption conversation on Messenger = "Secret conversation"
Normal conversation = Non-secret conversation?
— Michael Cypher (@mikeecb) September 26, 2016
Secret Conversations does exactly what it says on the tin. Namely, allow you and your friends to have secret conversations using Facebook Messenger. Secret Conversations is Facebook’s cutesy name for end-to-end encryption.
End-to-end encryption ensures a conversation is secured from one end to the other. In theory, this means only you and the person you’re chatting to can see what’s being said. The idea is to protect your conversations from being screened by any third-party, including ISPs, intelligence services, hackers, and, in this case, Facebook.
Plenty of other messaging services already offer end-to-end encryption, including WhatsApp. However, with Facebook Messenger boasting 900 million users, Secret Conversations is a big deal.
Enabling Secret Conversations In Facebook Messenger
As previously mentioned, Facebook Messenger’s end-to-end encryption isn’t enabled by default. However, it’s easy enough to enable Secret Conversations in Facebook Messenger, as long as both parties have the latest version of the app. If one party doesn’t, they’ll have to update the app before commencing.
To enable end-to-end encryption on conversations you’re already having:
- Open the conversation you want to encrypt.
- Click on the person’s name at the top of the screen.
- Select “Secret Conversation”.
To enable end-to-end encryption on a brand new conversation:
- Click the “New Conversation” icon.
- Click “Secret” at the top-right of the screen.
- Select someone’s name to start an encrypted conversation.
Wired suggests Facebook’s decision not to enable end-to-end encryption by default may be an effort to avoid the ire of government authorities. Offering an added layer of privacy, while not making it the default setting, is a nice middle-ground position designed to keep both sides happy.
Will you be enabling end-to-end encryption on your Facebook Messenger conversations? Do you wish Facebook enabled Secret Conversations by default? Or can you understand its reluctance to do so? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Gary Ullah via Flickr