How to enable end-to-end encryption in Messenger

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta August 18, 2022
Updated 2022/08/18 at 2:04 AM

While protecting your privacy online has been a topic of interest for some time now, events in the news – for example, the Facebook chat story recently handed over to the police – have brought it to the forefront of the attack again. But how do you protect your privacy while staying in touch with friends and family? Well, you can start by using Messenger end-to-end (E2EE) encryption.

Find out how to activate this feature.

While there are a number of messaging apps that boast added privacy features, sometimes you can't persuade people you want to keep in touch with to use them.

Basically, end-to-end encryption means that no one - even the company Goal from Facebook - must be able to read what is in your chat. Briefly, this is achieved by assigning a special key to each party's account; only the account with that key can unlock the message.

How to enable end-to-end encryption in Messenger

Currently, Meta has E2EE available on its Messenger platform, but only on a chat conversation basis. The company has announced its intention to turn on E2EE by default soon, but in the meantime, if you're about to embark on a Messenger conversation that you want to keep private, here's how to activate it:

1. Open Messenger on your smartphone and select "Conversations" from the bottom menu.

2. Click on the icon located in the upper right corner (it looks like a pen).

3. Toggle the lock icon in the upper right corner.

4. Select the name of the person you want to chat with.

note: according to Meta, there are some accounts that you cannot use with E2EE, such as company and public figures accounts.

If you're already chatting with the person and decide you want to activate E2EE, you can also do that:

1. Within the conversation, click on the person's name to access the information.

2. Click on "Open Secret Conversation".

From here, you can also enter Messenger's "temporary messages" mode, which will make the conversation disappears when you close it.

1. On the information page, tap "Temporary Mode".

2. Activate "Temporary Mode".

One thing to keep in mind is that an encrypted conversation can only be between the people in this conversation - and the devices they are using. If you start an encrypted conversation on a mobile device, you can't just switch to another device and continue it - you have to go to Messenger on the other device and manually add it (other participants will be notified that a new device has been added).

Additionally, you can participate in encrypted web chats using the Messenger app in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox (in Firefox, ironically, private mode must be turned off).

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