The Telegram logo is seen on a screen of a smartphone in this picture illustration. File picture: Reuters
The Telegram logo is seen on a screen of a smartphone in this picture illustration. File picture: Reuters

Telegram: How to keep your account safe and secure

By Floyd Matlala Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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While the Telegram app continues to make its presence felt, dominating headlines and winning over some of Facebook-owned messenger Whatsapp users after criticism on its privacy concerns, the cloud-based instant messaging software and application may seem to have more to offer than its competitor as far as security and privacy are concerned.

Telegram has seen its users spike in recent days and according to Kaspersky experts the app’s security and privacy which seem to differ from others may be what gained the app more attention.

Let's take a look at the app’s security and privacy terms tabled by Kaspersky experts

With Telegram, you can pick a username and use it instead of your actual name or associated phone number when chatting with others.

Enable two-factor authorisation for your account. If someone tries to take control over your account, hijacking a voice call or a text message with a temporary verification code won't be enough. The attacker will still have to deal with your password. If it's strong and unique, the account takeover will become a significant problem. This feature is available in "Settings" - "Privacy and Security" - "Two-step Verification."

When chatting with others, consider using the "Secret Chats" feature. It means your account and chats will have better encryption, where each message is encrypted with two keys available only for you and your recipient.

Use a VPN connection when chatting or calling others. It is essential to bring an extra layer of security on your side.

Regularly review the "Active Sessions" option available in "Settings" - "Privacy and Security". It helps to find out if your Telegram account is enabled on any other device besides yours. If you find anything unknown or suspicious, terminate those sessions and change your "Two-step verification" password.

To maximise your privacy integrity, when signing up on Telegram, use a virtual number instead of your real mobile number. Make sure it is not a disposable virtual number; otherwise, someone can still hijack your account. Your virtual number is the one you own and is not connected to your mobile carrier.

Make sure your information is private to the point comfortable to you. There are several settings that you can play up or down in terms of exposure to the world around by accessing "Settings" and then "Privacy and Security"

Dmitry Bestuzhev, a cybersecurity expert at Kaspersky said one needs to make sure they fully understand the functionality of any app installed on their device, and Telegram is no exception.

"When it comes to Telegram, it might be more appropriate to call it a platform, as its functions go way beyond a simple message exchange,” he added.

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