Signal is one of the more popular messaging applications right now. While it isn’t the most feature-packed app, like its rivals WhatsApp and Telegram, Signal is big on all things privacy. The app’s motto for user data protection has trickled down to a number of in-app features that offer users top-notch privacy that not a lot of apps out there can offer.
While Signal’s end-to-end encryption for chats and calls is great, but here are some more privacy-oriented features Signal has that you need to know about.
Proxy support in banned regions
Signal is one of the few messaging apps that supports proxy addresses. This allows Signal to be used via a proxy server in countries where the app is banned. This feature is currently only for Android. Signal also automatically configures a proxy server when you tap o a link or scan a QR code. Even while using proxy, your Signal traffic remains opaque to the proxy operator.
Signal allows you to block screenshots on the app. This toggle when enabled disallows your own phone from taking any screenshots of your chats. This ensures that your chats are safe from any other apps that are running at the same time, some of which could be malicious. Your Signal app also shows a black preview in the recent apps section when this is enabled. However, note that this feature doesn’t prevent your contacts from taking screenshots of your chat.
Signal’s incognito keyboard is not a separate keyboard in itself, but rather a modified version of your existing keyboard app. When this toggle is enabled, your keyboard offers you complete privacy while in the app, not taking in any data from what you type. This, however, also means that your keyboard’s learning ability, real-time dictionary and autocorrect features may not work properly. That said, it still is a great feature to have if data privacy on Signal is your top concern.
Signal’s relay calls feature allows your calls to be relayed via the Signal server. Compared to normal calls via Signal, this prevents your call receiver from getting your IP address. However, since the feature works by relaying your call via an extra server element, your call quality may be affected and you may not find the same clarity in voice. Hence, if call quality is your top-most priority, you can always
Signal also features SMS integration and can be your primary SMS application if you allow it. This would allow you to effectively use one app for chats as well as SMS conversations. However, you will lose out on features that your stock messaging application offers, like RCS support on Google Messages.