How to Protect Your Messages with a Password

Whether it's SMS or an instant messaging app, you may want to password-protect your messages...

protect messages with a password

Your messaging apps could easily be one of the most private parts of your phone, storing all conversations you’ve had with your family, friends, colleagues, and more. In that sense, keeping them extra safe is always a good idea and that’s why you may want to protect access to these apps with a password.

In turn, even if someone manages to unlock your device, they will still not be able to access your messages. Here’s how to set that for some of the most popular messaging apps.

Why would you want to password-protect your messaging apps?

As noted above, messaging apps are the most personal part of your phone. You/we use them to communicate with our family, friends, colleagues and everyone else — and unsurprisingly, we share many personal details in those conversations. Heck, in some instances, you may even share financial information, even though that is not advisable.

So if someone manages to get ahold of your phone and unlock it, you will want to block their access from your messaging apps. Luckily, many of the popular apps come with this feature out of the box, which you can and should take advantage of. Let’s take a look at a few examples, shall we?

How to protect Signal with a password?

Signal’s mobile apps include a screen lock feature that allows you to use your phone’s PIN, password, or biometric authentication for unlocking. Here’s how to enable this feature:

iOS

  • In the Signal app, tap your profile icon and then “Privacy”
  • Tap “Screen Lock” to turn it on and select your preferred “Screen Lock Timeout”
  • If, later, you want to disable this feature, tap “Screen Lock” to turn it off, and enter your passcode to confirm changes

Android

  • In the Signal app, tap your profile icon and go to “Privacy”
  • Tap “Screen Lock” to turn it on
  • You can either set the lock to be automatic or manual
    • Automatic: Go to “Settings -> “Privacy” and select your preferred “Screen Lock Timeout”
    • Manual: Swipe down from the top of your screen until you find the “Lock Signal” option in your notifications

Signal also has its own PIN protection that is meant to reduce the app’s reliance on phone numbers, which you need to provide in order to sign up. This PIN allows users who may have lost their phones or had them stolen to recover their data on a new device without starting from scratch.

How to protect Telegram with a password?

Telegram has been offering protection with passcodes since 2015, which was always a big plus in our book. The “problem” — if that’s really a problem — is that you had to remember (write down) this password as it makes sure your Secret Chats remain in place once you change your device.

Here’s how to enable passcode in Telegram on both iOS and Android:

  • Got to “Settings”, then “Privacy and Security” and then “Passcode Lock”
  • Tap “Turn Passcode On” and create your passcode
  • You can adjust the time period to activate auto-lock

How to protect WhatsApp with a password?

Although we suggest using a different messaging app, we do realize that many folks rely on WhatsApp on a regular basis — because their friends and family members do it, as well. You can boost your WhatsApp security by protecting the app with your face or fingerprint. Here’s how to do it:

iOS

  • Go to “Settings” -> “Account” -> “Privacy”
  • Tap on “Screen Lock”
  • Toggle “Require Face ID” or “Touch ID” on
  • Set the time duration for when to require Face ID or Touch ID

Android

  • Go to “Settings” by tapping the three dots on the top right corner
  • Tap on “Account” -> “Privacy” -> “Fingerprint lock”
  • Toggle on “Unlock with fingerprint”
  • Verify your fingerprint to enable the screen lock

And you’re good to go.

Every little counts and since we’re all about security, it is our belief you should be adding additional security features (layers) wherever you can. And now you know how to do it in some of the most popular messaging apps. It is steps like these that will keep you protected in the long run. Cause it’s a scary world out there and you better be wary…