The Signal Foundation is a non-profit foundation that was launched in February 2018. The initial funding was $50 million from Brian Acton. As of the latest, January 2021, Signal had more than 105 million total downloads, and the application had about 40 million monthly active users. More than 50 million Android devices have been installed with the Signal application on the whole.
It is available for Android, iOS, LINUX as well as desktop or PC. Hence, many users find it to be a better alternative to the most commonly used global application -WhatsApp. In this article, we will focus on features that Signal offers and how to hide chat on Signal for better privacy and security.
Features of Signal App
Let us check out the interesting features that the Signal users enjoy and understand the reason for it being accepted at such a fast rate among other competing messenger applications.
Signal has the tagline ‘Say hello to privacy’. This is the current requirement that every user expects and one of the main reasons for it to gain popularity against other applications.
Some of the key features of the Signal app are
Secured messaging, voice calls, and video calls with end-to-end encryption.
Group chats feature.
The users can add up to 150 members in groups on Signal. Every individual contact must be added to the group and not everyone is automatically added to the group.
Unlike WhatsApp in which anyone with your contact number can add you to a group, in Signal a group invite link can be generated, asking others to join the group.
Signal offers a disappearing messages feature which one can set for each individual chat for a duration of five seconds to seven days.
Signal offers an option to users called “note to self” with which one can write a self-note rather than forming a single person group to send notes to oneself.
When compared to WhatsApp, Signal collects very little user data, that is, only the user’s phone number. Whereas WhatsApp collects the following user data:
The device ID
The user ID
The user phone number
User email address
The advertising data and payment information
The Signal app has a feature called the “Sealed Sender” under which no one will be able to figure out the details about who is sending and receiving messages.
The app encrypts all the files with a four-digit passphrase.
The users can also get a local backup.
This app also encrypts the group calls.
Several personalities like Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, American whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, have endorsed this application.
Now that we know the key features and the level of importance that the Signal app provides to the privacy of its users, let us check out the techniques to hide chat on Signal app as there isn’t an option to enable it directly.
How to Hide Chat On Signal App?
Hiding your chat will provide another cover over your messaging privacy. Try out these simple techniques that might help you to do the same.
1. Archive the chats
Follow the following steps to archive the messages and hide them.
In Android devices
Launch the Signal app on your Android device or install it from the Google Play Store if getting it for the first time. This will bring up all of your recent conversations.
From the list of conversations and group chats, scroll to locate and choose the chat that you wish to hide.
Then long press on a chat without opening the conversation. The app will now generate a new banner on the top panel.
Select the ‘Archive’ option. This option is indicated by a down arrow-shaped icon.
Now, this will hide the chat from the main chat screen.
The selected and archived chat will be moved to the ‘Archived Conversations’ section which is located at the bottom of the chat page and can be only accessed from this folder.
Launch the Signal app on your iOS device or install it from the App Store if getting it for the first time. From the list of conversations and group chats, scroll to locate and choose the chat that you wish to hide.
Now instead of long-pressing on a chat as for Android devices, simply swipe it to the left to open up the Archive banner.
Select the ‘Archive’ option.
Now, this will hide the chat from the main chat screen. The selected and archived chat will be moved to the ‘Archived Conversations’ section.
If you want to restore the chats from being hidden in Archived conversations then follow these steps:
Launch the Signal app on your device.
Scroll down and open the Archived conversations. This option would be visible only if you have archived at least one of the chats or conversations.
Now long press on the conversation that you want to restore.
Choose the ‘Unarchive’ option from the top.
If you are using an iPhone then simply swipe the chat or conversation to be restored to the left and choose the ‘Unarchive’ option.
Now you can find this conversation along with other chats in the main chat section.
Even though this doesn’t make your chats or conversations invisible, this protects it from the direct eyes of others. If this isn’t enough privacy that you expect then try the following techniques to improve the protection.
When a notification is received on your device, the contents of the message are visible on your lock screen by default. This can be viewed by anyone. To prevent this, Signal has a feature to add a passphrase to unlock the application.
3. Use disappearing messages
Once the ‘Disappearing messages’ feature is enabled, the user can set a timer for each message sent to a certain recipient.
When the timer expires, all the copies of the message are deleted on the user’s device as well as the copy on the recipient’s end is also deleted.
In this article, all the different techniques used to hide chat on Signal application have been covered. Hope this helped you to learn and protect your privacy from unauthorized access.