If you have an iPhone and care about privacy and security, then today is your lucky day! We often hear about being tracked via our smartphones, mobile apps that have overreaching permissions and app developers that are only too happy to exploit our privacy by selling our personal information to the highest advertising bidder. Add that to government surveillance and cell phone tracking and it can be tempting to kick smartphones to the curb. But when security is done right, it also protects your privacy and it’s truly a beautiful sight to behold. With that in mind, the new mobile app Wickr is downright sexy. In fact if it were a man, then I’d probably be in love.
That's right, self-destructing messages! How sweet is that? Here's a description: “The Internet is forever! Your personal data doesn't have to be.” Wickr – leave no trace.
- military-grade encryption of text, picture, audio and video messages
- sender-based control over who can read messages, where and for how long
- best available privacy, anonymity and anti-forensic features
- security that is simple to use
More simply, in the words of The New York Times, Wickr is an app that “encrypts, shreds, hashes and salts.” All of that should likely cost a fortune, but it’s free! And there’s no gotcha catch because the group of security-minded individuals behind Wickr have a mission to “provide secure communications that Leave No Trace. People are being tracked and sold online in ways they do not understand by numerous governments and corporations. Online communications should be untraceable by default. Now, if you can download an app, you can leave no trace. Security has never been so easy!”
Amen. Nor has an app been so slick and sexy. Wickr, founded in San Francisco, is the technological brainchild of a team of security and privacy experts. All that nasty metadata that is captured and silently destroys your privacy when you send a text, take a photo, or make audio or video need not bother you any longer; Wickr deletes all personal and locational information that was created.
That was only the tip of the iceberg; your messages can only be read by you and whoever you text because they are secured with military-grade encryption. They are not stored unencrypted on Wickr’s servers. Heck, Wickr doesn’t even know your username! One of the first anonymity-breaking activities online involves registering with an email address that can be tracked back to your real name, but Wickr supports anonymity. The site states, “We don't force you to share an email address or other personal information that could identify you to us or other Wickr users.”
We’ve talked before about being anti-forensic friendly, so if you liked that, then you’ll love this:
How strong are Wickr's anti-forensic features?
Wickr provides the best anti-forensic privacy protection possible on the mobile platform.What about my mobile or Internet provider, can they track my communications in Wickr?
Your provider may be able to confirm that you are communicating with our service, but it cannot read your messages and cannot determine with any degree of certainty with whom you are messaging.
All for the low, low price of zero, zippy, free! Hopefully the security and privacy standards Wickr is setting will catch on and spread. The Android app is coming soon. If you have an iPhone, what are you waiting for? Start leaving no trace now. As Wickr’s creators said, “The Internet is forever. Your private communications don´t need to be.” Read more, check out users’ stories, or download Wickr now from the APP Store.