October 2, 2018

Signal: A Love-Hate Relationship

So, I have a love-hate relationship with Signal, the secure SMS/MMS/Video/Audio application. If you un-install the application without first un-registering your phone number, messages to you go to a black-hole on their encrypted server. Granted, no one can read the message, but your intended recipient also won't receive it.

In this way, I unecessarily worried my wife by being late to arrive home without a message or reason why. The message I sent 40 minutes prior never reached her phone, since she had uninstalled the Signal application at some point in the past. She didn't need it and liked her iOS messanger application more.

Now, this wouldn't be so bad if I could toggle further communication with her as unencrypted, but that's not obvious or possible with the Android client.

Despite all that, I still feel security is an important consideration in today's communication. I encourage you to use Signal on both your phone and your desktop (yes, it works as a desktop instant messanger client)! Understand that if you chose to stop using it, un-register your number before un-installing the application.

And Signal, if you're reading this, please add a simpler way of sending unencrypted messages to a recipient instead of forcing all to go through encrypted channels.

Tags: technology security