Modern technology has allowed humanity to connect with each other on a whole new level. The widespread availability of data networks and increased internet penetration have made instant messaging applications extremely popular.

From WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger, staying in contact with loved ones has never been easier. Whilst convenient, we have become conditioned over the years to assume that our data and privacy are protected by the companies providing such services.

The truth however is much darker. However, social media has made most of us extremely lax in the way in which we share our personal information. From pictures to travel history, social media users have no qualms sharing their data with complete strangers over the internet.

Because of this, social media companies have become a treasure trove of information. Data collected on social media is then sold to nations and businesses for a profit. In turn, advertisers and governments use this information to influence your opinions and your viewpoint for their own nefarious purposes.

Rather than being the machinations of a tinfoil crackpot, this situation is all too real. Information companies such as Facebook have worked to consolidate their grip by acquiring WhatsApp and Instagram – social media services that process terabytes of information and pictures every day.

As we’ve seen from the massive pushback from WhatsApp users, it will only be a matter of time before even our most intimate conversations are shared with companies like Facebook.

However, there is hope amidst all of this. Decentralized messaging apps are specialized instant messaging services that do not store data on a central server hence the name. From sophisticated data encryption to auto-delete functions, these applications have a variety of data protection features.

Here we’ve put together a list of the 5 best decentralized messaging apps.

1. Dust

Just like how Ethan Hunt’s mission briefings would self-destruct after being read, Dust allows users to delete sent messages in real-time. Co-founded by entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the Dust app features sophisticated data encryption and can even alert you to data breaches.

Messages sent in Dust are deleted automatically after 24 hours and because not one kb of your data is stored on a server; once it’s gone, it’s gone. 

2. Status 

Building on the flexibility offered by the Ethereum blockchain, Status is a private messaging app, crypto wallet, and keycard all rolled into one.

Status makes use of the Waku protocol to enable communication between two users. Messages sent via Status are encrypted from end-to-end and can only be decrypted by the intended recipient. Thus, making it nearly impossible to intercept and decrypt messages sent on Status.

3. Sense.Chat

Sense. Chat is a crypto-enabled messenger built on the EOS blockchain. It combines the services of a decentralized messaging app and community network into a single convenient package. 

Like all privacy-focused apps, Sense.Chat utilizes sophisticated E2E encryption that ensures that only the end recipients can read sent messages. For added security, the service makes use of peer-2-peer verification to stamp out scammers and detect fake accounts.

4. Crypviser

Crypviser utilizes blockchain technology instead of a central server to send and receive messages. Besides eliminating the need for a central operating server, this prevents unauthorized access of data by third parties.

Encryption keys used by Crypviser are distributed across several nodes on the blockchain which makes hack attacks virtually impossible.

Lastly and most importantly, Crypviser allows users to set a self-destruct timer on all sent messages for an added layer of protection.

5. BeeChat

BeeChat is a blockchain messenger that supports a variety of cryptocurrencies along with the Telegram protocol. 

Blockchain encryptions allow BeeChat to forgo the use of a central server and instead distributes data over the blockchain. Thus, preventing third-parties from accessing your personal data.

BeeChat also supports cross-chain functions for Ethereum and EOS thus giving users the option to swap between blockchains.

It is clear that decentralized messaging apps are set to be the future as our data privacy comes increasingly under threat. 

Besides keeping your messages private, always remember to watch what you say and keep sensitive information on social media at all times.

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