Is Facebook Messenger End-To-End Encrypted: How To Enable Encryption On Messenger

With growing concerns about just how far Facebook wants to reach into our private data for financial gain, it's worth asking if Facebook Messenger is end-to-end encrypted. We know that Whatsapp, also owned by Facebook, does use end-to-end encryption. So it stands to reason that Facebook Messenger would be at least as secure. Right? Right? Oh wait. It's Facebook isn't it.

Is Facebook Messenger End-To-End Encrypted?

Facebook Messenger is end-to-end encrypted. However, as if to get Sir Mix-a-Lot excited, there is a big but. While end-to-end encryption is enabled as standard on Whatsapp, you have to opt-in on Facebook Messenger. This means that unless you specifically choose to make your calls and chats end-to-end encrypted, they won't be.

For many people, they won't be bothered, and it won't occur to them at all that this matters. But end-to-end encryption is the only way to ensure that messages and calls can only be seen or heard by you, and the person you are communicating with. It's the only way to stop Facebook, or anyone else, from tuning in. So it's pretty important.

In April 2021, Facebook stated that they intend to implement default end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger. But they also stated that:

While we expect to make more progress on default end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram Direct this year, it’s a long-term project and we won’t be fully end-to-end encrypted until sometime in 2022 at the earliest.

We probably wouldn't hold our breath waiting for them to meet that already vague deadline. So if you do want to be as private as possible, but still want to use Facebook Messenger, how do you enable end-to-end encryption?

Read More: Facebook Data Leak: Is My Personal Information Secure?

PSX Facebook Messenger End-To-End Encrypted
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How To Enable Encryption On Messenger

If you do want to enable end-to-end encryption on Facebook Messenger, then you need to start what Facebook calls a 'secret conversation'. Or what other, more secure, messaging services might call 'a conversation'. How you enable it depends on your platform, and it's worth bearing in mind that it isn't available on Facbook chat, or Secret conversations don't support group chat, gifs, voice or video calls, or payments. But they do support messages, pictures, stickers, videos and voice recordings. Now that's cleared up, here's how you do it.

On an Android device:

  • From the home tab, tap the plus symbol
  • Tap the padlock symbol in the top right
  • Select who you want to message
  • If you want, tap the timer icon in the text box and set a timer to make the messages disappear

On an iPhone or iPad:

  • From the home tab, tap the compose a message symbol
  • Tap Secret in the top right
  • Select who you want to message
  • The timer icon is also available, so you can set a timer to make the messages disappear

You'll have to remember to do this, until such times as Facebook finally gets around to making end-to-end encryption the default.

Read More: Facebook’s meltdown proves it's impossible for one company to run everything

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