Why the Telegram Secure Messaging Service Is Grabbing World Attention

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TelegramMessagingWhy the Telegram Secure Messaging Service Is Grabbing World Attention0

Private messaging app Telegram has come under fire in Russia. The service, which is used by hundreds of millions of people, was founded by Pavel Durov, a Russian entrepreneur to enable people to send messages more securely that most other services. Telegram’s service became so popular in Russia that the government there demanded the company turn over encryption keys to allow the Federal Security Service to read user messages as needed. When Telegram refused, the government blocked millions of IP addresses that communicate with the service, disrupting some business transaction channels. The move has also helped raise interest in the service around the world. This slide show will explain why Telegram has become an attractive for personal and business communication.  

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Telegram Works as Personal or Business Messaging Systems

The UK-based Telegram is best-known as a consumer-focused messaging service that encrypts connections from end to end. However, in an FAQ on the service’s website, it makes clear that Telegram might also be an ideal solution for companies that need a safe and confidential platform to transmit sensitive messages and files.

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It Supports Text, Video and Audio Messages

Telegram is designed to work securely with any type of messages. It supports text messages, of course, but users can also send video and audio messages securely through the app. Users can also create groups or channels and send all of that content to others that are participating in that private channel.

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It Works With Most Devices, Operating Systems

Telegram is platform-agnostic and will allow users to send messages via iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, and Windows. The service uses cloud-synchronization technology that will ensure all messages and conversations are up today on all the devices that Telegram is installed on.

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It’s All About Security, Privacy

Telegram says that it’s firmly committed to privacy and security. The service supports full, end-to-end encryption through its Secret Chats feature that will only allow users who are engaged in a conversation to see the contents of a message. Telegram uses the MTProto protocol for security and employs 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange to secure messages. 

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Securely Share Files

Telegram can also be used for file-sharing. The service allows users to send any type of file to others, including documents, ZIP files, MP3, and videos. Those files can be shared via end-to-end encryption and there is no limit on the number of files users can share. Each file share, however, must be 1.5GB or smaller.

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Make Secure Calls, Too

In 2017, Telegram introduced a calling feature that allows users to place voice calls that are encrypted from one end to the other. The calls are built into the Telegram app and users can decide who’s allowed to call them. The content of those calls is protected by a key exchange feature that requires users to share four emoji through the app. If those four emoji match up, users know that their call is completely encrypted. If not, users won’t want to continue the conversation. 

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There Is a Self-Destruction Feature Too

When users engage in secret chats via the Telegram app, they can set a self-destruct timer. That timer will give users the ability to choose when a message, file, or anything else they’ve sent should be deleted and no longer accessible to the recipient. However, there’s no way to stop users from taking a screenshot.

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Security Experts Criticize Telegram Technology

There’s some debate over just how secure Telegram actually is. The service has been criticized by security researchers who say that its MTProto encryption technology is unproven and therefore at risk of being hacked. Security researchers also don’t like that data is stored in Telegram’s cloud without strong encryption and that users need to move to Secret Chats to have a fully end-to-end encryption experience. Telegram has said that its service is more secure than competitors, such as WhatsApp and Signal, but some security researchers disagree. The Signal service, for instance, has end-to-end encryption on all messages by default.

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It’s an Open Source System

The Telegram source code, communication protocols and API is open to corporate or independent developers that want to create custom applications that work with the service. With help from the API, companies can create custom Telegram chat clients that they can integrate into their corporate networks to implement secure communications throughout the company.

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It’s a Growing Community

Telegram is growing at a rapid rate. On March 22, Telegram announced that it had 200 million active users. That announcement came nearly two years after Telegram announced that it had 100 million active users. Looking ahead, Telegram’s founders believe that number will continue to grow.

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Telegram Downloads Are Free With No Subscriptions Fee

Telegram is available as a free download on all the platforms it’s on. The service also doesn’t charge any subscription fees for access to its app. Instead, Telegram is completely funded by a donation from its founder Pavel Durov. Telegram says in an FAQ on its website that if it ever runs out of cash, it would begin selling “non-essential paid options.” It would never, however, attempt to turn a profit on the service.

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