For your safety, ditch WhatsApp for these alternatives

If you are a big user of the messaging app WhatsApp, there are a few things you should know about the new WhatsApp data privacy policy. Starting May 15, WhatsApp will share with other Facebook companies an alarming amount of your personal data. This will include account registration information like your email and phone number, service information, how you respond and interact with other users and businesses, and other mobile device information you’re not even aware of.

If you choose not to accept the new terms and conditions of Whatsapp’s updated policy, the functionality will become more limited. Using the app to send and read messages, for instance, will no lower be available. After a short time, you won’t be able to make or receive calls, either. While the messages between individuals on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted (meaning only recipients can see their contents), having information shared with businesses via Facebook (even if you do not have a Facebook account) that can be used for advertising has many users looking for WhatsApp alternatives.

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Signal

Signal is at the forefront of WhatsApp alternatives because not only is it end-to-end encrypted, but it’s an open-source app. This means all of its code is available online, so the public can review it anytime, and that transparency is appreciated. Signal is a fairly small company run by a not-for-profit organization and survives entirely on donations from its users. Both Signal and WhatsApp have similar interfaces for sending messages, creating groups, and making group video calls — which allow up to eight users — so it’s fairly easy to make the switch.

Discord

Discord is a server-based messaging app but also boasts a private message feature similar to WhatsApp. From its Friends tab, you can add friends and also use it for private messaging, group chats, group calls, and media sharing with up to 10 friends. It is free, private, and you don’t have to share any personal information to sign up.

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Threema

Threema makes you pay a one-time fee when buying the app ($2.99), but you can feel comfortable knowing it has end-to-end encryption for everything that passes through the messaging service, including messages, video calls, files, and status updates.

The company does allow you to chat anonymously, so keep that in mind if you have any kids using the app. You don’t need to provide a phone number or email to your account, and the best part is that Threema doesn’t show any ads.

Viper

Viper has been around for 10 years and is recently becoming more popular. It’s a cross-platform voice-over IP and instant messaging software application that lets you make group calls, text, send private messages, and use “endless stickers and GIFs for every possible expression.” If you don’t happen to find the exact one to express your emotions, Viper lets you create your own.

Skype
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Skype

Skype is a popular messaging app that lets users video chat and send voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches. Skype also provides instant messaging services and has a ton of stickers and emoji available. Users may transmit text or audio, share images, and make video calls with up to 100 people if they have a very large family or want to connect with an old college class.

If you’re not happy with Whatsapp’s updated policy and are looking for a new alternative for your family and friends to use moving forward, all the options above will give you the privacy you’re looking for with feature-rich services you’ve come to expect. Protect your data and your devices and delete Whatsapp right now.

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