Signal - Private Messenger

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Signal - Private Messenger App Poster Image
Simple, secure messenger with free phone calls, group chats.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Setup takes seconds, and texts, calls, and video chat are simple as can be.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SIGNAL - PRIVATE MESSENGER is an update of a previous app called TextSecure and is a free social-networking tool that lets you chat for free and make free (even international) voice and video calls. All contact is totally private, thanks to encryption that prevents anyone other than the sender and the recipient from accessing messages. According to the developers, the app doesn't collect any metadata about its users (such as identity, location, and the like). Though the app does request access to contacts, you can choose to check phone numbers one by one if you don't want the app to access your contact list. Users on iOS devices can only use the app with others who are using it, but Android users have the option to contact those not using the app, though the messages aren't secured. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCasandra78 September 15, 2020

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... Continue reading
Adult Written byPiet Rive April 16, 2020

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 cu... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

SIGNAL - PRIVATE MESSENGER is a free messaging app that lets users make free and secure local and international audio and/or video internet phone calls and enjoy free, secure texting. The app takes only a minute to download and even less time to set up. It draws only upon your existing cell phone contact list but enables you to invite friends via text. On Android devices, only you can send messages to people not using the app, though those messages aren't as secure. Though it uses cell numbers as contacts, connections are actually made over data connections, so devices need internet access. Because of end-to-end encryption and the fact that the developers don't store any personal data, communications are secure.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about privacy in online communications, including on messaging apps like Signal - Private Messenger. How can you ensure your communications are safe? Even if the app itself is secure, what private information should we only share with trusted people and sites?

  • Think about the importance of secure messaging. What sorts of information might you want to keep secure?

  • Discuss online privacy and why we need to care about it. What are some ways to keep our information and devices secure?

App details

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