Facebook Messenger Secret Conversations Have Been Rolled Out, Adding Another Layer Of Security To Your Private Messages

If you ever had any doubts as to the security of your Facebook Messages, this will come as comforting news to you: Facebook Messenger Secret Conversations have been rolled out across the platform, allowing users to encrypt their messages so that no one can read them except the sender and the recipient. According to the social network, this even protects the messages from Facebook, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies. Secret Conversations uses the widely-trusted Signal encryption system, developed by Open Whisper Systems. It was first tested with beta users back in July; now it has been made available to all Facebook users over the last few weeks.

Although Facebook's software updates don't specifically mention the new feature, all you have to do is update the Messenger app on your phone in order to see the new "Secret" option. (In order to have a secret conversation, both users must have the most current version.) You'll find the new feature toward the top right of the "New Message" screen. This means that you have to manually enable the extra encryption when you start a conversation. When you choose to have a secret conversation, the messages will only be available on whatever device you initially used — so, if you're using the secret mode on your smartphone, you won't see the messages from your desktop.

In addition to having the option to encrypt a conversation, Secret Conversations also allows you to choose an expiration time for the messages you send, ranging from five seconds to 24 hours.

The concept for Secret Conversations actually started with another one of Facebook's creations: WhatsApp. Last spring, WhatsApp released code that added a whole new layer of security, and simultaneously became the largest end-to-end encrypted messaging network ever. They saw a positive enough response that they brought the update over to Facebook next.

Remember: With great power comes great responsibility. Message wisely.

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