App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Confide App Poster Image
Privacy-focused messenger secure, but sketchy for kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for business and entertainment purposes. Not intended for educational use. 

Ease of Play

Straightforward interface makes for quick and easy secure messaging. 


No violence in the app itself, but user-created messages could contain violent references and/or imagery. 


No sex in the app itself, but user-created messages could contain suggestive references and/or imagery. 


No profanity in the app itself, but user-created messages could contain bad language. 


Basic usage is free, but the app repeatedly pushes the premium paid version. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No substance use in the app itself, but user-created messages could contain references to and/or images of drinking, smoking, and drug use. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Confide is a secure messaging app that lets users ensure private text communications. The app requires both sender and recipient to have downloaded the app and uses end-to-end encryption to prevent hackers from intercepting messages. For further security, messages can only be read one line at a time and self-destruct the moment the recipient has read them. Messages cannot be saved, forwarded, or archived via screenshot. The subscription version has more features, including retracting (unsending) messages. While it's essentially safe for teens to use with known contacts, the lack of transparency into what users are doing makes it better for older teens. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

CONFIDE is a freemium secure messaging app popular in the corporate, legal, and political arenas because of its auto-destruct feature. Message text arrives covered with colored bars, which discourages over-the-shoulder reading, and users must drag their fingers down the screen to reveal one line of text at a time. Messages (including photos, videos, and other attachments) sent within the app auto-delete after the recipient has read them, thus ensuring they can't be forwarded or reproduced. Proprietary tech even prevents users from taking screenshots of messages. The free version offers basic security; the paid Confide Plus and Pro versions offer even more in the form of message retraction, unlimited attachments and voice messages, alternate cosmetic themes, business dashboard, and analytics support. 

Is it any good?

Loads of features make this messaging app secure and private, but those very features make it riskier for teens. Confide has a lot going for it: a clean interface, straightforward functionality, total message security, and hey—it's free! Unfortunately, the things that make it a businessman's dream make it a parent's nightmare. 

With Confide, kids can pass digital notes—including pictures, videos, and other kinds of attachments—back and forth without leaving any kind of “paper” trail for you to follow. The possibilities for predator use alone should set off alarm bells. So as far as Confide's usefulness goes, context is everything. Used by adults either in a private or professional setting -- or between family members concerned about data privacy -- it could be a very useful tool. But there are other secure messaging apps that offers the security you want without going into “Mission Impossible" territory. So, though it's a thoughtfully made app that's essentially safe for teens to use with known contacts you trust, it is a concern if you want to be able to see what your teen is up to.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about privacy using apps like Confide. What are the benefits of using an app like Confide? What are the risks? What is it always important to tell trusted adults?

  • Think about online security. Since everything we send or post online can be saved and/or used, how can we be careful about our digital footprint?

  • Discuss your rules around app choice. What apps are okay to download and use? Which ones aren't?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 1, 2013
  • Category: Other
  • Size: 41.00 MB
  • Publisher: Confide Inc.
  • Version: 8.3.6
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later
  • Last updated: July 22, 2019

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