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Are Text Messages Secure?

Home Forums Personal Security Privacy Are Text Messages Secure?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  mitchell9 7 years ago.

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  • #1274 Reply

    Maru Quevedo
    Keymaster

    Okay. I was shocked to learn just recently that email is not secure.  I mean I always thought that it was, but I was told that I should not send any information with my social security number, credit card info on it or anything like that.  It made me feel pretty vulnerable to know this. I don’t always send private information through email, but I have in the past. Are text messages secure?

  • #1275 Reply

    joe_r82

    It can be scary when you realize how insecure email actually is.  I remember back in the old days of the Web, like 10 years ago, I used to send all types of things through email, including my W2 forms and copies of my ID.  Oh, how naive we once were. 

    Text messages seem to have a higher degree of security though, which I find pretty exciting.  You know that when you are talking to people on the cell phone that your conversations are secure by law,  so it seems like companies are really interested in providing this same type of security for text messages and the government seems to also be in line with this.

    There have been some recent scandals that have caused people to be concerned about the privacy of their text messages.  I get it, I do, but most companies are very up on things when it comes to text message security.  Most people don't have to worry about someone tapping into their text messages. Another bit of good news is that your text messages aren't being recorded by your carrier company either.

  • #1276 Reply

    mitchell9

    Really?  They're not recording those things?  I've got to say, in the back of my mind, I thought that they were.  And to be honest, I feel like I watched a story about a trial and they were able to subpoena old text messages from the company, so I don't know if I'm buying what you're selling here. 

    However, I do know that's the official word on the case. The companies claim that there is no central hub where companies are keeping text messages.  You can believe it or not.  I'm leaning towards not, but maybe the text messages are only available because the recipient or sender kept them. 

    Basically, what the companies are saying is that if you delete the message, it is deleted forever.  I guess I can see this being plausible.  I never really delete my messages, so maybe that's the only reason they surfaced in that trial.  The people just neglected to empty the folder. I think it is interesting to note that there isn't a Federal law that requires the companies to keep the messages; however that whole trial thing nags me a bit.  If none of these things are happening, how did they subpoena that whole conversation?  I guess that's another thread, huh?

    It could just be my paranoia here, but it could be possible that they want us to feel comfortable enough to discuss whatever we want and carry out whatever deviousness we can come up with right in front of their nose.  I mean, it would be smart. 

    I personally have known several people with secret cell phones they were using to date outside of their relationship or even just to have their own private life that no one else knew about.  It seems that if people are up to something, that darn cell phone is involved.  It would be smart for the government to convince us we are free and protected and gather information.

    So in the end, to answer your questions, the official word is that yes, text messages are secure, however, you need to use your gut.  I know that I have personally seen text messages subpoenaed directly from a company that had them on file for some reason.  Who knows why they were on file, maybe there was an already judge ordered wiretap on that phone line and I missed that part?  Anything is possible.  My advice is to just be smart.  I personally don't send too much through SMS, but that's just me.

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