The Telegram app is characterized by extreme privacy and security, in addition to many amazing features.
The application, whose user base exceeds 500 million monthly active users, according to its founder, assembles components of a huge call center, message board and social media, and its security and privacy model differs from other applications.
Kaspersky experts recommend following seven tips to ensure maximum security when using Telegram:
1. Choose a different username than yourself and use an alternate number for your phone when chatting with others.
2. Enable two-factor authentication for your account. If someone tries to gain control of your account, it won’t be enough to “hijack” a voice call or text message with a temporary verification code, and will still have to deal with passwords, which are strong and unique. But it will complicate account theft. The two-step verification feature can be found in the Privacy and Security section of the app’s settings.
3. When chatting with others, consider using the “secret conversation” feature. This means that your account and conversation will be subject to better encryption, as each message is encrypted with two keys available to you and the other party.
4. Use a VPN connection while chatting or communicating with others, an additional level of security is required.
5. Regularly check the active session option available in the Privacy and Security tab in Settings. It is useful to know if your Telegram account is active on a device other than yours. If you find something suspicious, quickly “end” those sessions and change the password for two-step verification.
6. When registering for Telegram, to get the utmost privacy, use a virtual phone number instead of your mobile phone. And be careful not to have a virtual, disposable number; So that later others don’t use it and are able to handle their account. Your default number is the mobile number that you have and is not connected to your network operator.
7. Make sure your information is private to an extent comfortable for you. There are several settings that you can enable or disable, which limit your contact to the world around you, and they are available in the Privacy and Security section of the settings.
Some additional tips include:
• Who can see your phone number? Select “Phone Number” and toggle the setting “Who can see my phone number?” “None”, and the setting “Who can I find using my number?” For “My Contacts”.
Who can see your activity? Click “Last View and Online” and switch it to “None”.
Who can see your profile? Go to “Profile Pictures” and choose “My Contacts”.
• Who can see your account by clicking on your name in messages forwarded by others? Select “Forward messages” in “Who can add a link to my account when forwarding my messages”? And choose “My Contacts”.
• Who can contact you? Click Call, and if you want to receive a call from someone on the Internet, because they have your username, select All.
But here’s an important setting: When one of us calls each other, in most cases the connection is “peer-to-peer”, meaning that calls are made directly between users without passing through Telegram’s servers. goes.
Although it improves connection quality, it does reveal the user’s IP address. Therefore, to improve security, it is better to choose “My Contacts” in the “Peer-to-Peer” setting.
• Who can invite you to participate in message boards with different content? Click “Groups”, and if you don’t want anyone to add you to a random group, select “My Contacts”.
• Who can see your messages while viewing your phone screen? Choose “App lock with passcode” from the application settings and enable it if you want to prevent anyone from accessing your messages on your phone. When activated, Telegram will ask for a passcode every time you unlock or give a fingerprint if enabled.
With the above, the most important advice is to make sure that you can fully understand the functionality of any application installed on your device.
And when it comes to Telegram, it may be more appropriate to call it a “platform”, says Kaspersky’s digital security expert, Dmitry Bestushev, who says its functions go beyond merely exchanging messages. “For example, there is a feature called People Nearby, which detects other Telegram users around you and shows which groups have formed any of them,” he says.
Dimitri emphasized the importance of individuals, adults and children when using Telegram to be aware that the application contains elements of dating applications and message boards, allowing the user to share any type of content and make it available to all Are free to conduct. And he says, explaining: “Although the current version of the application does not allow disabling the display of these groups, it is still possible to adjust the telegram settings to prevent the user’s location from appearing close to it. . “