Service

Instant Messaging

Real-time Text Transmission via Web, short: IM


Messaging more popular than E‑Mail

As different as people are their communication preferences …

So for some the good old e-mail is the favourite medium, for others the telephone and those who can rarely meet friends/relatives in person (e.g. due to long distance) may use video calls (became affordable through mobile messengers).

Instant Messaging (IM) was invented in 1996 and initially only used stationary on PCs. In the 2010s, IM was replaced by mobile apps on smartphones, the so-called messenger apps.
I didn't use IM back then. My favourite means of communication was e-mail. This was also because e-mail programmes are similar to the text editors of FidoNet, which I used before the invention of the WWW. Even back then, the message editor GoldEd was more convenient than today's e-mail clients.

Ordinary E-Mails are not secure

Few mail servers are configured to transmit e-mails only if the recipient's mail server also uses transport encryption!

The global surveillance disclosures brought us certainty:
unencrypted transmitted emails are read and evaluated.

Since then, security-conscious people prefer to communicate via data-saving messenger apps, even if there is actually no need for chat or video telephony.

Messenger replaces E-Mail, SMS, MMS and Mailbox

Since messages are stored on the server until they are viewed by the recipient, a messenger can also serve as a substitute for e-mail, SMS, MMS and answering machine. Messages can be stored and transmitted as audio files. The latter is very popular nowadays, especially among young people.

Careful Selection of the Instant Messaging Service

You don't just want to send irrelevant stuff with your messenger. You quickly get used to the comfortable, fast communication and simple operation of this one app. The plan to write “only unimportant things via messenger A” and use “only messenger B for confidential things” will not really work. Sooner rather than later, people will accidentally use “the wrong app” for confidential information. It becomes annoying to decide whether something is too private for one messenger or the other. It's like business mobile phones: although the employer can see everything if he wants to, a lot of private calls are made.

Over time, the messaging service becomes “indispensable” and you trust it with everything: You send and receive confidential documents, photos or videos.
In your address book you not only have telephone numbers, but also very private data about the contacts. All this must not fall into the hands of strangers!

Human Right to Privacy

It's not just your own privacy that goes out the window when you use (a)social networks! All the telephone numbers you save on your smartphone are processed by the (a)social networks. It even says so in their terms and conditions!
For a long time it even said that entire address books were uploaded!
This was hardly complained about even then, or perhaps hardly anyone had realised the full implications?

It is frightening that most users accept these terms and conditions unread, whatever they say – a gross violation of the EU GDPR for commercial use!
If used privately, it is gross disrespect for the privacy of your fellow human beings, who themselves avoid the (a)social networks!

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

Because instant messengers do not offer a folder structure like e-mail programmes, they are not suitable as a complete replacement for e-mail, SMS or MMS for frequent writers, either professionally or privately.
A secure messenger can be a useful addition to these services and enables tap-proof telephone calls.
But for all those who either do not communicate very much or do not keep messages for long and do not like to email, a secure messenger can serve as an all-purpose tool.

Please read also my articles about the messenger apps Signal and Threema.

Alternatives

E-Mail Provider with End-to-End Encryption

If you don't want to do without folder structures and text editors or simply write a lot and want to keep it orderly, you'll be happier with a secure email provider.

Therefore, please also read my articles about E-Mail …

Keyword list: Bookmarks, Computer, Gastronomy, Glossary, Info, Instant Messaging, Link Collection, Literature, Mobile Telephony, Recommendations, Reviews, Tests, Tips, Tricks

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