How Secure Are Your Texts, Really?

Maybe you aren’t a political dissident engaging in top secret conversations over text messages. But if you care about privacy, you should probably be using Signal—or really, another encrypted service—to send your messages. Encryption can be a hot-button issue, with governments demanding backdoors into private data stores and executives at companies like Facebook expressing wildly different opinions about how secure your communications should be. Plus, at a time when we’re relying more and more on digital services to talk with each other, it’s important to know who has access to your conversations.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED digital director Brian Barrett joins us to talk about the ins and outs of encryption, and why you’d want to use a secure messaging service in the first place.

Show Notes

Read Brian’s tips for using Signal here.


Brian recommends the show Detroiters. Lauren recommends the show Selling Sunset and the video where WIRED’s Nick Thompson, Pia Ceres, and Adrienne So talk about the digital divide in education. Mike recommends using Signal’s built-in tool for blurring people’s faces whenever you want to share a sensitive photo.

Brian Barrett can be found on Twitter @brbarrett. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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