Billed as one of the secure messaging apps, Signal offers end-to-end encryption. However, that’s not what makes it unique. It has other privacy features that make it special. What are these privacy settings and how do I use them? This is what we will help you with. Here you will find 9 privacy settings and features for Signal Messenger that you will definitely like.
This article covers privacy settings and tips for Android and iOS. Most of the screenshots are taken on an Android phone. But the steps are the same on Android and iPhone, unless stated otherwise.
1. Lock the Signal app
Instead of downloading a third-party app to prevent others from accessing the Signal app on your phone, you can use the built-in feature. Signal Messenger allows you to lock the app for added security. You can use PIN, fingerprint lock, Touch ID, etc., depending on its availability and support on your device.
To lock the Signal app, open the app. Tap the profile picture at the top and go to Privacy.
Activate the toggle next to the screen lock. Then configure the idle time to automatically lock it.
2. Stop signal from appearing in app switcher and block screenshots
Signal Messenger comes with a cool feature that prevents the app from showing the chat list from the app switcher screen. It’s called Screen Security. When enabled, if you preview the app in your recent apps list, you will see a blue screen. On Android, the same feature prevents you or anyone else accessing your phone from taking screenshots of the Signal app.
Note: The screen security feature does not prevent people you chat with from taking a screenshot.
To activate, tap the profile picture icon at the top of the Signal app home screen. Then tap on Privacy. Turn on the toggle next to Screen security (Android) and Turn on screen security (iPhone).
3. Activate disappearing messages
If you don’t want to keep your conversation history, you can turn on disappearing messages. When enabled, sent or received messages disappear after the other party views them within the specified time. You can set the time interval between 5 seconds and 1 week.
Note: You will need to enable / disable disappearance messages for each chat separately. In addition, the other person will see in the conversation that disappearance messages are activated.
To do this on Android, open the chat where you want to activate the missing messages. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner. Select Disappearance of messages.
In the contextual menu, choose the time range and press OK. To deactivate, repeat the steps and select Deactivated from the context menu.
On iPhone (and Android too), tap the contact’s name at the top of the chat.
Then tap Missed messages and select the time.
Point: WhatsApp also supports disappearing messages. Find out how to use endangered messages on WhatsApp.
4. Relay calls
Signal also offers a privacy feature for calls if you want to be extra careful. When relay calls are enabled, your calls will be routed through Signal servers first, so the other person will see the Signal server’s IP address instead of yours. It helps to hide your IP address from the other person. However, call quality may be affected.
To enable it on Android and iPhone, go to the privacy settings in the Signal app. Activate the switch next to Always relay calls.
5. Use the incognito keyboard (Android only)
On Android phones, users can activate the incognito keypad feature. Signal will ask their phone’s default keypad to stop learning words when using the Signal app when it is enabled.
To enable this feature, go to privacy settings in the Signal app. Activate the toggle next to the incognito keyboard.
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6. Stop signal calls from appearing in the call log (iPhone only)
Typically, your Signal app’s call history will appear under the Recent tab in the Phone app. However, you can turn it off. To do this, go to the privacy settings in the Signal app. Turn off the button to view recent calls.
7. Hide the content of the notification
Usually, when you get a notification, the app will show you the contact name and the message. But you can customize that and only show the name without the message or not even the name or the message.
To do this, tap the profile picture icon on the app’s home screen. Then tap Notifications. Tap Show. Choose your preferred setting.
Point: Find out how to hide sensitive notification content on Android and iPhone.
8. Add signal PIN code
The Signal PIN code is handy if you want to recover your profile, contacts, blocked list and settings if you change or lose your device. It adds an extra layer of security by asking you to enter your PIN code if you register the Signal app again with the same phone number. This can be extremely useful if someone gets their hands on your SIM card and tries to register the Signal app.
To turn it on, go to privacy settings in the Signal app. Tap Create PIN code and set a PIN code. Also activate the toggle for Record Lock.
9. Disable indicators
Similar to WhatsApp, you can turn off acknowledgments and input indicators in the Signal app. Once deactivated, even you lose the ability to see the same for others.
To disable them, go to the privacy settings. Deactivate the button for read receipts and entry indicators.
Improve the signal
Signal Messenger is packed with privacy features. You can also cancel sending messages within 3 hours of sending them using the Delete for Everyone feature. Check out 17 such tips and tricks for the Signal app to get the most out of it.
Last updated Jan 18, 2021
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