Updated:11/02/2021 11: 35h
Telegram he’s getting fish in troubled river. The messaging “app” directed by Pavel Durov has already passed the 500 million active users and, in addition, it has become the most downloaded platform in the world during last January. And one an important part of the fault is WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned messaging service announced last month its intention to start sharing user data with Facebook for commercial purposes starting May 15. This decision, which It will have no effect in the countries of the European Union and the United Kingdom, has caused thousands of Internet users to rethink the possibility of looking for an ecosystem that, at least, on paper, is more respectful of their privacy. And they have seen an alternative route in the alternative messaging application.
However, to take advantage of the service, which has many functionalities that do not appear in WhatsApp, it will take some practice. Next, we collect the five most important things that you must take into account to hit the jump.
Is it safe?
Cybersecurity experts consulted by ABC point out that Telegram, despite the suspicion that the Russian origin of its founders may cause, is a secure application. Although the encryption it uses is not as good, in principle, as WhatsApp, which is end-to-end. “When we are talking about this encryption, it is assumed that not even the service provider is capable of reading the messages that one user sends to another,” Lorenzo Martínez, director of the IT company Securízame, explains to ABC.
In the case of the alternative messaging “app”, an encryption is used based on the protocol MTProto (Mobile Transport Protocol). According to the application, this type of encryption “strongly” protects conversations. «The encryption in Telegram goes to the server and from there to the client. It is not the mime that WhatsApp uses, but it provides guarantees to the user, “says ethical hacker Deepak Daswani, who, like many cybersecurity professionals, has been using the tool since its creation due to the functionalities it offers . “We must bear in mind that no application is completely secure. Bearing this in mind, and despite some problems that have been detected over the years, as with other similar tools, Telegram is a fairly robust and secure “app”, “the expert completes.
Do you have to pay money?
For the moment, Telegram does not charge the user a single euro for using the service. However, this could change shortly. Pavel Durov, CEO and founder of the company, announced last December through his channel within the application that all the functionalities that the application currently has will continue to be free. However, he warned about his intention to pay new tools that will arrive throughout the year and that will be specifically designed to be used by companies. “Normal users will be able to continue enjoying Telegram, for free and forever,” said Durov.
Can I make voice calls and video calls?
Like WhatsApp and the vast majority of messaging services, Telegram allows the user to make video calls through the platform. However, at the moment they can only be made between two contacts. To start one, you have to find the chat with the contact you want to talk to, click on their name and select the icon that shows a video camera.
Can I bring my WhatsApp history to Telegram?
During last January, Telegram announced the launch of a new tool that allows users, both iOS and Android devices, transfer the chats from WhatsApp to your application. The process to achieve this is quite simple. You just have to open the messaging application owned by Facebook and look for the conversation that we want to have saved in Telegram. Then, click on the name of the contact and look for the option «Export chat». Next, after selecting if we want the files to be attached, we will have to click on the Telegram icon and, once there, paste the chat in the contact in the conversation with the user in which we want it to appear.
Can I use Telegram on multiple devices?
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram allows the user to use the same account on different devices at the same time. «You can log into Telegram from as many devices as you want; All at the same time. Just use your primary mobile phone number to log in everywhere. Your chats in the cloud will be synchronized instantly », they point out from the messaging application. This is possible, in part, because conversations, as we have explained, do not have end-to-end encryption by default. To use an application from various devices, which can be “smartphones”, computers or tablets, the user only has to download the application and enter your phone number. The service will then send you a login code through the Telegram account that you already have open on another device.
Can I encrypt the messages?
Although it is not available by default, the user does have a functionality that allows the encryption of messages to be end-to-end: the «secret cats». To send a message that, for sure, no one else on Telegram will be able to read, you must open the application and search for the specific contact you want to talk to. After clicking on it, you will see how the conversation opens and the name of the contact and their profile image are displayed at the top of the screen.
You will have to click on the name and, then, a new screen will open in which they are collected, in the upper right corner in the case of Android, and in the central part, in the iPhone, several icons, including a phone, for calls, a camera, for video calls, and three inverted dots, which is where you have to click. There you will be given the option to select the “secret chat” functionality. Once you start, the service will notify your contact that you want to make a secret chat with him. At the same time, you must bear in mind that the conversations carried out in this mode are only available on the device from which they are carried out, because they are not stored in the cloud.
Can I self-destruct my messages?
Like WhatsApp, Telegram allows the user schedule destruction of messages that you do when you are conducting the conversation in a secret chat. Next to the text bar, you will see a clock-shaped icon in which you can configure the text to disappear in periods ranging from one second to one week. In addition, the “app” will notify the user by means of a message on the screen in case the contact with whom the conversation is taking place takes a screenshot.