Why should I switch from WhatsApp to Signal?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Unlike WhatsApp, Signal isn’t owned by a massive social media conglomerate. The Signal Foundation is a non-profit that develops the open-source Signal Messenger, which primarily focuses on privacy.
To sign up for Signal, users just have to provide a phone number. The app asks for no other identifying information, and profile names and data aren’t tied to the account. The app also goes a step further than WhatsApp’s encryption by encrypting message metadata. This means that Signal not only can’t read a user’s messages, but it also doesn’t even know who’s sending them.
Signal supports most of the same features that WhatsApp does. It has iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux apps, making it an excellent alternative for businesses who use WhatsApp. Android users can also make Signal the default SMS app, but due to system limitations, that ability isn’t available on iOS.
Overall, Signal has had a good track record, and no breaches or controversy have marred the brand. No app is 100% secure, but at least it isn’t broadcasting user data to Facebook.