Viber now has hidden chats and encryption

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You have secrets. I have secrets. Everybody has secrets. By definition, a secret is something that we keep to ourselves. However, every rule has its exceptions. There are some secrets that we will divulge with people we trust. But even then it’s only with people we trust. This is one of the reasons as to why we take privacy very seriously on the internet. That’s why we now see features such as end-to-end encryption being added to messaging apps. The latest one to do so is Viber but it’s taking privacy one level higher.

Viber has announced that it will soon allow users to hide any conversation from the main screen. This means no one but you will know that a particular conversation even exists. The featured which has been dubbed “hidden chats” will be rolling out in the coming weeks. To get it all you need to do is ensure that you have the latest version of Viber which is 6.0. So how do hidden chats work?

For starters, any individual or group chat can become a hidden chat. All you have to do is access the info section regarding the particular chat in question. Once you do so, the app will ask you to enter a 4 digit PIN number which acts as a password for the chat. Alternatively, on iOS, you can set your fingerprint as the password. Once that’s done, all messages in the hidden chat will be invisible even when a notification arrives.

Viber Hidden Chats
Image credits: Android Community

However, it’s important to note that this only applies to your phone. As Viber mentioned in its statement, “This is not bi-directional, meaning if one user hides the conversation, nothing will be changed on the recipient’s side.” In other words, while the hidden chat hides messages on your phone, it won’t hide them on your friend’s phone. However, this is not the only security update the latest Viber update is bringing to the table.

In addition to hidden chats, Viber will also support end-to-end encryption. A much-needed feature that is slowly becoming the standard for all messaging apps. With such measures in place, you’ll need to scan a QR-code before you view your messages. This applies to all version of Viber from desktop to tablet to mobile.

“We take our users’ security and privacy very seriously, and it’s critical to us that they feel confident and protected when using Viber,” said Viber COO Michael Shmilov. “Because of this, we have spent a long time working on this latest update to ensure that our users have the most sophisticated security available and maximum control over their communications. We will continue to make this an ongoing priority as digital communication evolves.”

Today, Viber is one of the top messaging apps in the world. Across the world, it has over 711 million users. With such a large number of users, it’s nice to see Viber taking steps to ensure the security of the messages they send.

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