How to keep you text messages private on Android
In this day and age, it seems as though pretty much everyone is using an encrypted messaging platform like WhatsApp, Signal or any of the two dozen or so messaging apps that offer the same service. The problem is that most third-party messaging platforms require the person on the other side to use the same app if you want end-to-end encryption to ensure no one is snooping on your messages. But for the most part, most people simply want an additional layer of privacy in their device to make sure your friends or family members aren’t reading anything they shouldn’t be if you pass them your phone for a few minutes or if they pick it up and happen to know your passcode or unlock pattern.
Privacy Messenger is a simple SMS replacement app, but it has a handful of privacy features which are designed to keep others from reading your messages. By default, all messages are sent and received as standard messages, but you can turn on Private Messages to hide specific conversations. Doing this will not display a notification in when you receive a message from specific contacts and locks those conversations away behind a 4-digit pin code of your choice.
For additional security, you can lock down the entire app and its notifications behind a password. To enable the feature, open the app, tap the four squares icon at the top and then open settings and tap privacy and then toggle Enable password to the on position. Here you will also have the option to secure from a screenshot and also disable your keyboard’s learning feature while the app is being used so that the messages you type are not being logged anywhere on the device.
If a complete gate around your messaging app was to set off a red flag for those who might have access to you phone, Privacy Messenger gives you the option to change the name of the Private Box to whatever you want or hide it completely by making it accessible only with a long press on the New Conversation icon within the app. And if you still want to receive notifications when you receive messages in your private threads, here’s an option to customize the notifications to use an app icon, notification title and unique content of your choice. I don’t think anyone would dare click on a notification which reads “System failure. Tap to reboot device.”
Privacy Messenger is a great option if you’re looking for an app that can keep your sensitive conversations secure on your Android device. That being said, it’s not the only option out there. Private SMS & Call is a great simple alternative, but I’m also a fan of Calculator Pro+ which is disguised as a calculator.
If you have any other recommendations for those who would like to keep their text messages discrete and under the radar, please share them in the comments.