Facebook has today made end-to-end encryption available to all of its billion users in the form of a new feature called ‘Secret Conversations’. This will protect your chats and allow you to converse with your buddies secretly without having to worry about your privacy — even Facebook cannot access these messages.
Though the feature has been rolled out globally, unlike WhatsApp, it isn’t enabled by default for each conversation. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to enable ‘Secret Conversations’ on Android(almost similar on iOS).
1. You’ll need the latest updated Messenger app to access encryption features. When you’ll open the application, you’ll be greeted with the following pop-up window telling you about the working of secret messages. You’ll need to click ‘OK’, so that the app will take you to the encryption settings.
If you don’t see this pop-up window right away, you’ll need to go to you profile and settings page inside the Messenger app, and scroll down to the bottom to see the new ‘Secret Conversations’ tab. You’ll see the pop-up once you tap on that.
2. Once you’ve opened the ‘Secret Conversations’ tab from the setting menu, you’ll notice that the encryption feature is turned off by default. So, you’ll need to toggle that, and tap ‘Turn on’ in the pop-up message to set your device as the one which you’ll use to send and receive secret messages.
3. Then you’ll need to tap the ‘Compose Message’ button in the bottom right of the screen.
4. Then you’ll see your contact list, and a new ‘lock’ shaped toggle button on the top right corner of the screen. Secret conversation aren’t like normal conversations, so you’ll need to toggle that lock switch and the menu bar will turn black. These conversations will include photos, emoji and stickers, but rich media support is still missing.
5. You are now all set to send end-to-end encrypted messages(shown using a lock alongside profile picture), which means only you and the recepient can see these messages. These messages are protected from intrusion not only by Facebook but also from law enforcement agencies.
6. And finally, as you might have already read in the chat screenshot above, Facebook has also brought in a feature that allows you to set a self-destruct time on secret messages. You can set the timer anywhere from 5 seconds to 1 day.
Isn’t this awesome?! Your secret conversation with your bestie will now always be between the two of you. Enjoy.