Gossip is a humane necessity. As social animals, people like to share confidential information among friends. We all have participated in it and there's no shame in admitting it. The only protocol that holds these secret conversations between two people is the trust they share among themselves.
But what if there's someone else in the middle listening to everything you're sharing — loud and clear. No, I'm not talking about that sneaky friend who goes around spreading rumors, I'm pointing finger at messenger apps such as Facebook's very own Messenger.
There's no doubt that Facebook can see what your best friend and you are talking about in a regular chat. The regular conversation is not encrypted and this gives hackers full access to the data going from your device to your friend's.
It's been more than a year that Secret Conversation has been integrated into the messenger app but you probably had no clue about it.
Here, we will tell you how you can talk freely on messenger using Secret Conversation without Facebook eavesdropping.
1. Activate Secret Conversation
In order to chat with encrypted messages on Facebook Messenger, you need to first activate the Secret Conversation feature from the app. Here's how you do that.
Go to the Me section by tapping on the icon at the top-left corner of the messenger — the one with your photo on it. You'll see the Secret Conversation option on the list, tap on it.
Toggle the switch to On beside the option and you'll get a dialog saying that your messages sent through Secret Conversation will be encrypted end-to-end. There, hit on Turn on to activate the feature.
Once this is done, you'll be able to see the Secret Conversation option once you go to Details from the chat box of your Facebook buddies.
In order to send encrypted messages to any of your Facebook friends, you should first go to their chat box and head over to Details.
Once you have navigated to Details, you'll see many options in the list under Settings. Just below Nicknames, you'll find Go to Secret Conversation. Hit that and a new chat box with a black theme will open. Notice that the text field has a timer icon adjacent to it. We'll talk about it in a while.
Once you starting typing in the text field, you'll see a drop-down of three different time limits — 5 seconds, 10 seconds, and 30 seconds. Select the duration you want your text to appear in your friend's chat box — a feature that's very similar to disappearing snaps on Snapchat. After which, the text will disappear, leaving a black text bubble behind.
How Do I Know It's Secret?
Good question. I was also wondering about this the first time I found this feature. It's natural to be a little curious ... I mean it's the same messenger and you are just using a feature in it. True. However, there is a substantial evidence of your messages being encrypted end-to-end.
First, go to the Secret Conversation option. If it is activated, your device name will appear under Your Devices. Tap on it and it will lead to your Device Key. Match your key to your friend's device key to verify if your chats are end-to-end encrypted.
It's been almost a decade that we are having conversations on Facebook. Most of them are just random chats that do not contain personal information but, at times, we have to resort to the messenger to share bank details, health issues, identification numbers, phone numbers, and other types of sensitive data.
With end-to-end encryption in Secret Conversation, we all can heave a sigh of relief and talk freely to our closed ones without having any worry of anyone eavesdropping.