This article is not about any of the “normal” topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, this article contains information that I believe all computer users should be aware of, whether they plan to use it themselves or not.
If you are concerned about online hackers, government spies, cybercriminal gangs, anyone who commits identity theft, installs viruses, steals passwords, or causes other problems, you should know this news from Google.
Google announced today it’s making its Messages by Google app more secure with improvements to RCS, or Rich Communication Services — a protocol aimed at replacing SMS and is more on par with the advanced features found in Apple’s iMessage.
From a report:
Google says it will now make RCS the default for both new and existing Messages app users. In addition, end-to-end encryption for group chats is now fully rolled out to all RCS users. The latter had launched into an open beta earlier this year after earlier tests, but was not fully launched until now. With this update, all conversations between users in Messages, whether 1:1 or group chats, will now be kept private, Google says.
NOTE from Dick Eastman: While I applaud Google for adding more security to one of its more popular apps, I don’t intend to switch to the Messages by Google app. Given Google’s policy of reading every GMail message and reading lots of other private communications of its users, I really don’t trust Google.
Instead, I plan to keep using Signal, a simple, powerful, and secure messenger that has become well-known for being one of the most secure messenger products of today. As stated on the Signal home page, “We can’t read your messages or listen to your calls, and no one else can either. Privacy isn’t an optional mode — it’s just the way that Signal works. Every message, every call, every time.”
Features of Signal:
Share text, voice messages, photos, videos, GIFs and files for free
Free! Including no SMS or MMS fees
Signal is an independent nonprofit. We’re not tied to any major tech companies, and we can never be acquired by one either.
Make crystal-clear voice and video calls to people who live across town, or across the ocean, with no long-distance charges
Group chats make it easy to stay connected to your family, friends, and coworkers
Available for Android, iPhone, iPad, Macintosh. Windows, and 64-bit Debian-based Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint etc.
There are no ads, no affiliate marketers, and no creepy tracking in Signal (Such as Google’s constant tracking of all users)
You can learn more about Signal at: https://www.signal.org/