Disappearing Messages
Disappearing (or self-destroying) messages are the extra step you can take to secure your privacy online. After the target recipient has finished reading them, they auto-destruct without you having to lift a finger. You can also set a predetermined timer that will trigger the auto-destruct sequence regardless of whether the recipient has managed to read the message in the meantime or not. As it goes without saying, this is incredibly useful if you want to prevent a third party from seeing your chat history.


However, not all messaging platforms support them yet. To save you the trouble of finding them on your own, we’ve put together a list containing the top 6 tools for sending disappearing messages you can start using today:

1. Telegram

If you’re familiar with WhatsApp, you’ll feel right at home with this one. Among the rest of the features you can enjoy, it also offers what’s referred to as “secret chats”, and it has an entire section dedicated to it. If you’ve noticed a self-destruct timer icon, you’ve come to the right place. Once you’re there, tap the three-dotted button and then tap the timer to set the amount of time a message remains available for reading. As an added benefit, Telegram is an app that’s hard to track by the government due to encrypting its messages. If you’re adamant about protecting your privacy, you can go even beyond using a VPN when sending and creating them. Be sure to give NordVPN review a good read; VPN is a valuable tool that will protect your identity and keep your data safe.

2. Snapchat

Snapchat can be much more than a messaging platform for sending overly-revealing photos of oneself, if you know how to use it right. It’s one of the pioneers that set the trend of disappearing messages. Its user base compares to that of Facebook. For file-sharing purposes, Snapchat works wonders. However, do keep in mind that you could encounter plenty of cyberbullies who abuse the self-destructing nature of the platform to send offensive content or harass you. This will make it harder to use their messages as evidence later on. Of course, you are free to take a screenshot whenever you want to, but the sender will be alerted of your actions if you decide to go down that route.


3. Bleep

Bleep is another useful alternative for sending disappearing messages that boast with more than a handful of useful features. One of the most useful ones is allowing for multiple means of logging in (including your email and phone number). On top of that, you also have the option of using incognito. In practice, this translates to sending anonymous messages. The users also benefit from end-to-end encryption. You also have the option of sending a ‘whisper’, which is a cool feature if you don’t want the recipient to take a screenshot of it. If you wish, you can also initiate a voice chat with someone through Bleep.


4. Cover Me

Cover Me is yet another way to send disappearing messages, but compared to the others we’ve mentioned, it takes an entirely different approach. Instead of letting the sender decide when the message should disappear, the recipient gets to choose it. Of course, some of the power is left to you, as you can opt to recall a message in case it hasn’t been read. That way, you’ll be able to take it back if you’ve sent it to someone by mistake or want to amend something.


5. Wickr

This app allows you to send disappearing messages with end-to-end encryption. If someone were to attempt to intercept it along the way, its contents would be rendered unreadable without the proper key. In the case of Wickr, reading it requires not only one but a total of five keys for it to unlock, which serves as an additional layer of privacy, a concept that is known as perfect forward secrecy. Without a doubt, this makes Wickr one of the most powerful ways to send messages with sensitive content.

6. SpeakOn

By sending a message through SpeakOn, you will be able to enjoy self-destruction features and send a timer yourself. In addition to that, the messaging service supports automatic translation with over 90 built-in languages. However, after examining what’s under the lid, there wasn’t a single indication of end-to-end encryption, so it may not be present. Again, make sure to use a VPN to compensate if you’d like to give SpeakOn a shot.

Conclusion

When chatting online, protecting your privacy is of paramount importance. After all, a message containing sensitive information could have dire consequences if you let it land into the wrong hands. Thus, you should always opt-in for a private messenger that offers end-to-end encryption and disappearing messages. Only then can you be sure that your text will reach the intended recipient only.