8 most secure video chat apps for your private calls

8 most secure video chat apps for your private calls

February 13, 2024 privacy 0

Like for other online communication tools, privacy and security are essential for video calls. A trustworthy video calling app is a key component in preventing random people from creeping into your private conversations. This article will present you with the most secure video calling options and tips for improving your online protection. What is private video calling? The past few years mark the rise in remote work, online meetings, and virtual social gatherings. Upheavals such as the global pandemic made video calls unavoidable. Unfortunately, video conversations started attracting more cybercriminals, too. They see this medium as an opportunity to steal credentials or extract sensitive data by interrupting private conversations. Therefore, strong privacy features in video calling apps are more important than ever. Why consider using secure video calling apps? When searching for a secure and private video chat app, you should pay attention to a few crucial attributes. Let’s see what they are and why you should care about them: End-to-end encryption. This feature in a video calling app encrypts video calls on the caller’s device and only allows decryption on the receiver’s end. That means it is highly unlikely for a third party to intercept and listen in on your private conversations. Data protection and privacy policies. Before picking a video calling app, carefully review how it handles users’ personal data. You should check what data it shares with third parties and evaluate possible threats to your online privacy. Security features like two-factor authentication (2FA). This security attribute creates a second layer of protection for your account. Even if you accidentally expose your video calling app password, criminals won’t be able to access it because 2FA will demand biometric authentication or an additional code sent to your phone. Access controls. In-app access controls allow you to decide who can join a video call. This feature also lets you manage settings like screen sharing or file sharing. Regulatory compliance (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA). Compliance with such regulations as the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the healthcare sector is essential. Respecting these measures means the app values extra precautions that protect your data and online privacy. {SHORTCODES.blogRelatedArticles} Top secure video calling apps The big question is… Which app should you choose for your video calls? As with the most secure messaging apps, one correct answer doesn’t exist. But let’s discuss the most trustworthy options, the security features they offer, and the encryption methods they employ. Zoom. It’s a video conferencing platform mostly used in work environments. Zoom is available for free on both desktop and mobile devices. It uses AES-256 encryption (one of the most robust encryption algorithms) to protect video and audio data. Zoom’s commitment to maintaining a no-tolerance policy for malicious activity is also worth a mention. After multiple security issues starting in 2020, the app introduced multiple security updates over the years. Now, Zoom is a relatively safe option for secure video calls. Let’s talk about Zoom alternatives. Signal. It offers communication service via text chat, 1:1 video calls, and group calls of up to eight people on Android, iOS, or desktop devices. The limited number of video call participants is probably its biggest downside. The app also had a privacy incident in 2022. Twilio, the company that provides phone numbers to Signal, faced a leak of about 1,900 phone numbers. Signal immediately informed the affected users and dealt with the situation. Despite this accident, the app is still a good choice privacy-wise – it uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to protect all transmitted messages and stored media. Find out more about the Signal app and decide if it fits you right. Microsoft Teams. It’s one of the world’s most popular video calling apps. Microsoft Teams allows you to host video calls of up to 100 participants with the free version. Paid users get to increase this number to a thousand. Such capacity makes Teams an attractive option for businesses. It also offers convenient meeting scheduling and invitation settings. What about privacy? E2EE guards Microsoft Teams videos and messages against third-party interception. Cisco Webex. This video conferencing and collaboration pack allows 1:1 or group video calls and text messages. It also offers advanced features such as an AI-powered assistant or live translations into more than 100 languages during meetings. Of course, most of the extra tools come with an extra price. The free version permits video calls up to 40-minute and 100 attendees. Security-wise, Webex uses E2EE on calls and chats. It also has customized safety features, like implementing file sharing and saving rules. Jitsi Meet. This free-to-use app includes HD audio and video calls, unlimited meetings for up to 50 participants, and end-to-end encryption. With Jitsi Meet, you’ll be able to utilize screen sharing and remote desktop controls. The application also allows third-party integrations with Google, Slack, and Microsoft products. Google Meet. The platform was originally created for secure business meetings but is now available for anyone to use. You can start a meeting right away by visiting the Google Meet website. The free version allows an hour-long live video chat of up to 100 participants. Paid users can enjoy features like setting up recurring meetings, creating pools, and live streaming. Voice and video communication in Google Meet is protected by E2EE on both paid and free versions. FaceTime (for Apple users). It’s an app that can connect up to 32 Apple users in one video call. This free, easy-to-use application implements end-to-end encryption, making video calls secure. Is it possible to connect to a FaceTime call without an Apple device? Fortunately, it is. FaceTime call members can create a link that lets non-Apple users join the call via a web browser. Skype. It’s one of the pioneers in video calling services. Skype is free and compatible with all operating systems. If the app is blocked in your country, please note that unblocking chat apps with a VPN is fairly simple. The Skype app allows group calls of up to 100 people, easy dialing, call recording, and screen sharing. What about its privacy and security? No worries – Skype uses E2EE to safeguard chats and calls. After creating an account, you will also get a private profile ID that is unavailable to other users without permission. Tips for ensuring video call security No matter which video chat app you choose, its privacy and security features will go to waste without safe online behavior. Let’s look at the cybersecurity practices that protect your digital identity: Use strong and unique passwords. A solid password includes random letters, numbers, and special characters. Creating a passkey that’s hard to crack significantly improves your security against hacker attacks. Enable two-factor authentication. If you use 2FA, exposing your credentials means that cybercriminals can break only the first of two protection layers. To pass the second one, they will need your biometric authentication or an additional code sent to your phone. With 2FA, your online privacy becomes a tough nut to crack. Keep software and apps up to date. Delaying security updates might be tempting, but consider the scenarios where outdated software makes you vulnerable. The time dealing with potential damage will be much longer than installing essential upgrades. Be cautious of phishing attempts. A phishing attack disguised as a video call invitation is increasingly common. Scammers might send you malicious links. They might pretend to be people you know and use social engineering techniques to extract sensitive information. That’s why being extra cautious is as critical as using a secure app for your calls. Follow secure video call etiquette. What behavior can you practice to increase the security of your organized calls? If you plan to record a video call, ensure all chat partners are comfortable with you doing so. Also, consider setting up a code that participants must type in to join the call (if the application allows it). Obviously, send a call invitation to confirmed attendees. Don’t forget that a video calling app, no matter how secure, doesn’t guarantee complete protection. Stay safe!

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