Signal vs Telegram: A Detailed Comparison of Security and Privacy

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If the choice of an encrypted messaging app is a toss-up between Signal and Telegram, users must not waste time with anything but the one that offers unparalleled security and privacy. Which one is it?

This article comes after the release of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy that brings a new notion to the public – the software installed can still cull behavioral data via WhatsApp. How does this affect the impact on businesses looking for mobile compliance? How do other messaging platforms such as Signal and Telegram differentiate in terms of security and privacy?

Why isn’t WhatsApp the chosen app?

There’s a problem with the recent update released by the WhatsApp team. The policy update virtually allows Facebook to collect data shared by users on WhatsApp. The range of data can include sensitive information such as contact details, location details, payment information, and personally identifiable information. Here’s a guide to WhatsApp Desktop version.

This makes users sceptical as Facebook has been summoned with newsfeed manipulation charges and is accused of other privacy loopholes. They wonder whether updates from WhatsApp add to the threats. However, what are the real concerns for companies looking to stand by mobile compliance guidelines? And what are the security and privacy standards of Signal and Telegram that make archiving text messages easy?

Security and privacy offered by Signal

Created by a non-profit organization called Signal Foundation, Signal is a private messaging app based on its own intellectual security protocol. With top-tier encryption, Signal is becoming the app of choice for many users across the globe.

Neither does Signal collect any user data, nor does it offer any premium features. The app, however, only collects and stores the user’s phone number used to sign up for an account. Being an open-source application, it is available to all free of cost. Relatedly, Signal makes mobile archiving a tough deed for companies as it offers extended, onscreen privacy choice to its users.

Security and privacy offered by Telegram

One of the longtime competitors of WhatsApp, Telegram was created by a Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov. The speed and ease-of-use makes Telegram a better choice for many. However, the cloud-based storage system expands the limit of data shared between users and creates challenges for businesses using a message archiving solution. Another aspect of Telegram’s features that allows its users to exchange self-destructing messages also creates barriers for businesses aspiring to achieve mobile compliance.

Telegram is a partially open-source application and has several premium features. It also collects and stores data linked to names, contact information, IDs, etc.

Encryption – Signal vs Telegram

Signal wins the race of security and privacy through encryption. But which one is best for users that work within confined boundaries of mobile compliance? And how can businesses choose the best text message archiver for each of these apps?

From an encryption standpoint, Telegram doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption that WhatsApp and Signal do by default. This leaves user communications vulnerable to cyber threats in the wild. For companies in highly regulated industries such as banking and finance, healthcare, education, and pharmaceuticals, encryption in messaging apps can be the deciding parameter for mobile compliance.

Therefore, it’s always a good practice for companies to encourage employees to use WhatsApp and Signal as opposed to Telegram. However, this practice is secured well when companies are using enterprise messaging solutions and archiving text messages. Be it iOS, Android, or web apps, businesses must always cover all electronic communications between employees and external stakeholders for mobile compliance.

Data Storage – Signal vs Telegram

While Signal messenger stores its messages to a local SQLite database after decryption, Telegram stores its chat messages to a cloud platform unless secret chat is enabled by the users.

Even if Telegram claims that its data is stored across a distributed infrastructure, encryption keys are stored in the server, allowing Telegram to decrypt the chats. Similarly, if Telegram is ever the target of an attack, the adversary can gain access to all user data including chat information.

This way, usage of Telegram as an enterprise messaging solution is a threat for many companies that actively archive text messages for meeting mobile compliance guidelines.

Contact Security – Signal vs Telegram

In order to build a social graph, all messaging applications rely on the presence of the user’s contacts in the device memory. This doesn’t usually surpass the boundaries of the device address book being stored in the device memory.

However, Telegram imports the complete address book of users to its own cloud servers to discover new sign ups. Telegram, this way, is not only learning about the user’s social graph but also is going beyond to learn about passive users. For businesses in regulated industries, this can be a major challenge as archival of messages does not solely help in accurate discovery for regulatory and legal inquiries. The same happens with WhatsApp as well. On the other hand, Signal doesn’t learn about its users’ social graph for contact discovery.

Real privacy and usage of text message archiver

When it comes to companies with huge amounts of sensitive data and operating under strict regulatory standards, it is always recommended to adopt an enterprise messaging solution that allows keeping track of all kinds of electronic communications across devices and apps. For instance, it should feature end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages for usability and security.

For businesses that are not using a secured enterprise messaging solution, archiving text messages is critical to mobile compliance. Across all networks, devices and messaging applications, an ideal text message archiver must allow businesses to securely archive data in multiple formats.

About TeleMessage

TeleMessage captures and retains mobile content, including mobile SMS messages, voice calls, and WhatsApp, and WeChat conversations from corporate or BYOD mobile phones to ensure compliance with various data protection regulations. The messages are securely and reliably retained within TeleMessage servers or forwarded to your choice of archiving data storage vendor.

Our mobile archiving products securely record content from mobile carriers and mobile devices for various ownership models (BYOD, CYOD, and employer-issued). With our multiple archiving solutions, you can always find the right tools or blend for your requirements:

TeleMessage offers cross-carrier and international mobile text & calls archiving for corporate and BYOD phones. Visit our website at to learn more about our mobile archiving products.

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