Trust in mobile messaging

Last updated: 28 March 2014

Thanks to smarter devices and wider availability of connectivity, whether through WiFi services or 4G/LTE, we are communicating more than ever before especially through mobile phones  We send ten billion messages per day on Facebook, and recently acquired popular messaging platform WhatsApp processed 27 billion messages in a period of 24 hours last year.

However, with this greater communications opportunity comes challenges. Last year’s PRISM leak by Edward Snowden gave cause for concern among all users of electronic devices and online communications platforms. If governments and technology companies are working in collaboration to share information that we communicate to friends and family via these online platforms, how can we trust in the security and privacy of our messages and their content? Edward Snowden recently appeared via Google Hangouts at the infamous SXSW conference to share tips on how to keep data secure and protect your privacy too.

Aside from the debate around national security and privacy vs freedom which we won’t go into here, the main concern for the individual is whether we can trust in the many new Over The Top (OTT) platforms that are springing up to help us better communicate. Available as applications on our cell phones – from WhatsApp to Snapchat, LINE and Skype – they are often simple and free to use, but at what price and disruption?

And what is wrong with our traditional SMS and MMS, especially when they offer both security and convenience? For traditional messaging provided by operators, no third party can access the message content, subscriber’s location or identification without authorization. In addition, at a time when people are concerned about how their data are being used by OTT message providers, there is a lot to be said for placing confidence in your mobile operator. Not only are operators more cautious in terms of using the data for external revenue generation, but they are also focused on retaining their loyal subscribers and wouldn’t risk sharing data with third party advertisers or marketers.

Given the number of data and security breaches happening on an almost daily basis across the numerous OTT messaging platforms, it’s worth knowing you can rely on your traditional SMS and MMS courtesy of your operator. Only with security can you be free in the knowledge that your messages and data are private and protected. Advanced messaging solutions are how mobile operators can continue to offer their users a valuable service that offers the convenience of OTT messaging platforms, but with added security.

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