Shortly after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie announced that they were divorcing, the National Enquirer published text messages that Bezos had reportedly sent to Lauren Sanchez, who he is currently in a relationship with. Bezos, like everybody else, is entitled to his privacy. These text messaging leaks, however, remind us that security is a must in order to protect personal information—whether business related, financial or private conversations with friends and family.
So what can you do to protect yourself from text messaging leaks? There are a few immediate steps that many articles on text messaging security mention— for example, employing messaging platforms that use end-to-end encryption and/or ephemerality (in other words, messages that disappear from devices after being read). These are both good first steps. But what’s particularly noteworthy about the Bezos case is that a friend of Lauren Sanchez is said to have leaked the texts. Encryption and ephemerality do not protect you from a text message recipient intentionally, or unintentionally, sharing your messages. This is why maintaining control over your content and its use – at all times – is key.
Protecting Yourself from Text Messaging Leaks – Think Content Control
First of all, what does content control really mean? It essentially means that after you hit send on a message, you still retain control over the information sent – no one can forward your message, share it, print it or even store it. You even have the ability to shred the message on demand.
Most messaging systems and standard SMS text simply allow for encryption. End-to-end encryption is great because it protects the message you send from the time it leaves the device to the time it reaches your intended recipient’s device – really protecting the message from what they call man-in-the middle-attacks. However, using standard SMS or a commercial messaging app, once your message is on a recipient’s device there’s no guarantee of safety. The recipient can easily forward it—the Bezos case is a real-life example of that. Evan with ephemerality in place, the messages may disappear from the device but it won’t stop someone from screenshotting a message prior to the message expiration and then sharing it on Facebook or storing it for future evil intent.
To protect yourself against text messaging leaks, you need to use a secure communication platform that offers content control. A platform such as Vaporstream.
For a secure messaging platform to offer full content control ephemerality is a must-have, but also not enough on its own. The platform should offer screenshot protection, inability to forward, share, or store messages, and senders should be able to recall a message after it is sent—ensuring that messages don’t accidentally reach the wrong person by mistake, i.e. the shred on demand mentioned earlier.
At Vaporstream, we firmly believe that people should be able to leverage modern technology without compromising on privacy or security. To learn how we can help you protect yourself from text messaging leaks, contact us today.
Contributor: Kristi Perdue Hinkle