Chat securely with Signal on your smartphone

WhatsApp is used by almost everyone, but there are safer ways to communicate with others. The Signal app from Open Whisper Systems is one of the better options. In this article you can read how easy it is to sign up for Signal, how to create group conversations and how to call someone from the app.

01 Sign in to Signal

Download the app for Android or iOS in the respective app store. You can register with Signal via your telephone number. You can also use a Google Voice number for this, if you don't want to sign up with your normal phone number. After you have entered your phone number, the app will send you a text message. Go through the sign up steps and you will see a blank Signal screen. The app will ask you if you want to add contacts from your address book. Tap on Get on and authorize Signal.

02 Chat

To see which of your friends uses Signal, tap the icon in the top right (iOS) or bottom right (Android). You will now see a list of contacts who also have a Signal account. If you want to chat with someone who is not listed here, invite them to Signal via Invite friends to Signal (iOS) or the three-dot menu / Invite friends (Android).

If your contact already has an account, tap the name and a chat window will open. You will see that a message has been delivered when there is Delivered appears below the message. A difference with WhatsApp is that you cannot see whether a message has been read. You also don't see if your contact is typing.

03 Disappearing Messages

If you want messages to be deleted after they have been read by your contact, on an iPhone, tap your chat contact's name at the top of the screen. Sets Disappearing messages and set the desired time below it. On an Android phone, tap the three dots in the top right of the conversation and choose Disappearing messages. For example, if you select 5 seconds, all messages you send and receive from now on will disappear five seconds after you've read them. You see in iOS behind Delivered now an hourglass. Your chat partner also sees this and can also change this setting.

04 Check safety

In the settings (reached by tapping the name of your contact at the top) you can also verify the security number. You will now see a code that you can compare with the code of your contact person. If the contact person is nearby, you can Scan code and scan the code of your contact's device. This way you know that you have a secure private connection with your contact. If you want to forward a security number, tap the share icon at the top right. Then choose how you want to share the image.

05 Call someone

Just like in WhatsApp, you can also make calls and video calls in Signal. To do this, tap the phone icon in the top right corner. The call is started. If you want to make video calls, tap the camera icon while calling. If you want to put the call on the speaker, tap the middle icon. To mute your microphone during the call, tap the microphone icon on the left.

06 Start group chat

You can also start a group conversation with Signal. In iOS, tap the icon to start a conversation. Next New message you see an icon with three figures. Tap it and choose Name this group conversation. Then add people to this group by tapping their name. Tap the plus sign to actually create the group. You will now see the name of the group in your chat list. In Android, tap the menu in the top right and choose New group, after which you set the name and image and add members. You delete a conversation or group by swiping left and pressing remove to tap.

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