Parents' Guide to

Signal - Private Messenger

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Simple, secure messenger with free phone calls, group chats.

Signal - Private Messenger Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

Excellent Safety & Privacy focussed app

So this is the app that families are flocking to in the UK WhatsApp have raised their minimum age to 16 (regardless of parental consent), and signal along with some others are proving popular replacements Signal is probably the safest of the bunch. It’s privacy and online safety focussed. This is suitable for children, in my view from about 10 with parental supervision, but the rules in UK and set by signal worldwide is 13. Easy to use, very safe online, privacy focussed and is trending in the UK for very good reasons.
age 8+

Higly customizable and secure mesenger app

Signal is a perfect app for your children to start their discovery into instant messaging: By limiting / permitting permissions (after installation) you can customize the END-TO END encrypted messenger app for what is suitable to your kids. Do this in combination with Google Family link so the child cannot change the settings itself. From a privacy point of view Signal is the top tier Messenger app. It will only be able to send and receive messages from your contacts that have signal installed, no fear for unsolicited messages from strangers. You have the possibility to make Signal your default SMS app as well, I would recommend against this setting for children as an extra precaution your child is not getting a high phone bill due to messaging to friends without realizing it is SMS instead of Signal network. If you do not want your child to invite others by SMS to download Signal, you can prevent this by denying Signal access to SMS in permissions. You can revoke the permission to access the storage of the device by Signal so the child cannot send high resolution pictures and movies by signal, you can even prevent voice / video call and photo messages by denying access to the camera and microphone, but that would defy the purpose of the app besides text messages of course. Signal has all the functionality of other chat and video call messengers, however the quality of the call can sometimes be bad therefore no 5 stars. Also if not updated in time, it might not communicate well with older / newer versions, they have not the same deep pockets as Whatsapp from Facebook, on the other hand it will never share or link your contacts to anyone else or use any of your information for other purposes than making signal work. No in app purchases (yet... don't know how long the makers can uphold this strategy).

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This messenger is known as Edward Snowden's favorite private-messaging app, because it's hailed as the most secure messenger available. The app's a snap to download, install, and use, doesn't force you to make any kind of account, and gives you the most secure texting available. Better still, its Skype-like internet calls have good quality sound and visuals. The app is extremely basic, graphically speaking. Developer Open Whisper clearly takes a practical approach to app design. That's not a bad thing; Signal - Private Messenger knows its job and does it well without any pointless bells and whistles. Text securely to your heart's content, or enjoy secure, lag-free calls (at least locally -- with further-flung internet connections, performance can vary) that use your data or Wi-Fi connection, not your voice minutes. For some, a downside is that it only works with other Signal users if you're on iOS. Still, with no annoying ads or come-ons to buy "better" versions of the app, it's your best option for free, secure chat, voice, and video.

App Details

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