The ultimate list of 18 most secure messaging apps

Sara Ana Cemazar
February 20, 2023
min read

The most secure messaging apps are becoming a priority for more and more companies. They want to enable both best communication experience to their employees and ensure the highest level of security.

Why? Because organizations know how beneficial team collaboration is. At the same time, they know that their reputation and business success depend on keeping their customers and internal data private.

However, due to the world of work moving towards digital workplaces and hybrid work environments, the possibility of security breaches intensifies. In 2020, one in five companies experienced a security breach as a result of remote workers. Moreover, we've seen popular solutions being banned from use due to non-compliance with law-abiding data security regulations.

The solution? User-friendly, but also highly secure messaging apps. Long gone are the days of emails and clunky collaboration software: employees expect a seamless communication experience and utmost privacy of their conversations at the same time.

📘 Read on to find out what are the most secure chat apps on the market. We’ve divided the list into four categories for easier navigation. Before you continue, make sure to get our guide to team collaboration in hybrid work environments.

Key features of secure group chat apps

Here are some of the features you should be looking for in your next messaging app if you want maximum security:

  • End-to-end encryption: encryption is a standard measure to protect messages and data that get exchanged through a messaging app.
  • Multi-factor authentication: adding 2+ steps to authenticate user makes any misuse by a third party less possible
  • Security certificates: standardized certificates like ISO27001 signal that an app is deemed secure by external experts
  • Regulatory compliance: data privacy regulations like GDPR or HIPAA require organizations to handle their data in a specific way. Your messaging app needs to be able to uphold regional and industry data privacy regulations
  • Self-deployment: deploying a group chat on premise or in a secure cloud means that you get to control where your data gets stored.

Top 5 most secure encrypted messaging apps for enterprises

Enterprise companies require software that is extremely secure due to their dynamic and highly distributed environments. Moreover, enterprise companies deal with large clients and succumb to very strict security protocols and regulations. That's why most of them also implement extremely secure collaboration tools.

The hybrid work model has changed everything about how we communicate with our teams and our customers. As more communication has shifted to digital channels from office hallways, conference rooms and telephone calls, the security and compliance burdens on organizations have also grown.

Christopher Skelly, VP of Product @Rocket.Chat

Therefore, messaging apps’ security is on top of the priority list for enterprises when looking for team collaboration solutions. Here are some of the most secure messaging apps for enterprises.

1. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is one of the most secure collaboration apps for enterprises. Besides adhering to highest security standards, it is compliant with HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA. Moreover, this communication platform is highly customizable and supports multiple integrations.

Rocket.Chat is encrypted and can be deployed anywhere. Organizations in highly-regulated industries such as Government and Healthcare choose it due to its advanced data sovereignty features.

If that’s not enough, one of the most important cybersecurity firms in the USA uses Rocket.Chat as their collaboration platform.

most secure chat app

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web

Security features

  • ISO 27001 certified
  • Open-source code
  • End-to-end encryption
  • On-premise hosting
  • Configurable to meet specific industry regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more

2. NetSfere

NetSfere offers multiple layers of data protection and boasts itself with industry leading end-to-end encryption. Moreover, it allows IT administrators to manage all aspects of communication with a powerful control panel.

Most importantly, NetSfere adheres to multiple global and privacy requirements, like GDPR, HIPAA, FINRA, SOX, and DFA, which makes it one of the most secure messaging apps for industries such as financial services, travel & hospitality, and insurance & risk management.

Available on: Android, iOS, macOS, Web

Security features

  • End-to-end 256-bit AES encryption with elliptic curve key exchange algorithms
  • 2-Factor Authentication
  • ISO 27001 certified
  • Sarbanes-Oxley compliance
  • Dodd-Frank compliance

3. Messagenius

Messagenius offers an instant messaging solution while enabling complete security and exclusive data ownership. One of the most interesting features it offers is the self-destructing messages which leave no trace of their existence.

Furthermore, Messagenius focuses on serving companies with on-field workforce and pride themselves with productivity-boosting features.

most secure chat app

Available on: Android, iOS, macOS, Web

Security features

  • On-premise hosting
  • GDPR compliance
  • Private encryption keys
  • Tracked and indelible black box chats
  • Self-destructing messages
  • Fully encrypted
  • LDAP

4. TeleMessage

TeleMessage is an enterprise-grade text messaging solution. It offers not only secure communication between team members, but also with customers. TeleMessage provides tools to deliver multi-channel bulk messaging across SMS, MMS, faxes, email, mobile apps, and voice calls.

The company itself has a long tradition for a messaging app, since it was founded in 1999, and it collaborates with Microsoft on protecting data coming from other Microsoft services. If you're looking to double down on organizational security, deploying TeleMessage is a good way to do it.

Available on: Android, iOS, Web, Outlook

Security features

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Self-destructing messages
  • Remote data lock & wipe
  • HIPAA & SOX compliant

5. Brosix

As one of the most secure messaging apps for enterprises, Brosix prouds itself with adhering to  highest security standards. Besides security, their features include powerful administration and control, customizable branding, real-time communication, and other teamwork features like screen sharing and whiteboard.

most secure chat app

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web

Security features

  • End-to-end encrypted
  • Virus and malware checking tool
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Private team network

Most secure consumer chat apps

Most secure chat apps is a frequently googled term. Not only companies, but everyday people are becoming more aware of how some popular messaging apps use and sell their data.

📘 Watch our webinar and discover five ways messaging apps are exposing your conversations.

Here are some of the most secure messaging apps in the consumer world (meaning, for private and not business uses).

1. Signal

Signal could be the most popular app of all the most secure messaging apps out there. It really does offer its users the highest level of privacy and security – for free.

One of Singal’s most famous advocates is Edward Snowden, which speaks enough of its security. Moreover, it is a cross-platform messaging app, and doesn’t hold the key to decrypt messages of its users.

The most convincing fact regarding Signal is that it’s financed through donations and grants, making it advertisement and tracking-free from the get-go.

most secure messaging apps

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Web

Security features

  • Open-source
  • Self-destructing messages
  • End-to-end encryption (even of the stickers)
  • View-once media
  • Incognito keyboard
  • Preventing other conversation participants from taking screenshots

2. Telegram

Telegram openly says that they are more secure than other mass market messaging apps like WhatsApp, and they base it on the MTProtocol. Telegram supports two layers of secure encryption – server-client encryption and client-client encryption.

Telegram also says they are not a profit driven organization, so they aren’t interested in selling user data. Moreover, they have a continuously open competition and offer $300,000 to anyone that can decipher Telegram messages.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Web

Security features

  • Lock Chats
  • Secret Chats
  • Self-destructing media
  • 2-step verification
  • Proxy servers
  • Deleting sender’s messages
  • 2-layer encryption

3. Discord

Discord puts strong emphasis on privacy and security of their conversations. They don’t sell data nor share it with third parties for advertising purposes. Additionally, Discord offers several control systems to parents whose children use it.

Besides offering messaging services, this security-oriented messaging app allows users to talk to larger communities. However, Discord claims it does not use algorithms to cater to its audiences’ interests – and that the conversations are driven purely by the people and topics users pick.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Android, Linux, Web

Security features

  • 2-factor authentication
  • Client-server architecture
  • IP location lock
  • Virus scanning

4. Dust

Branding itself as one of the most secure messaging apps, Dust offers a high level of data privacy and security. For example, it doesn’t store anything on its servers, and receivers of messages cannot save them (or media you send) in any way.

Moreover, once read, all content is deleted after 100 seconds – or 24 hours if left unread. Although Dust’s focus on safe texting puts them high on the list of most secure messaging apps, many say it lacks some basic features. Video calls, voice messages, and large file upload are not supported by Dust.

most secure messaging app

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

Security features

  • Encrypted messaging
  • Private web search
  • Permanent message deleting (leaving no trace)

5. Threema

As one of the most secure messaging apps, Threema doesn’t require any personally identifiable information like phone number or email address. Simple QR code scanning is enough to get you going.

It is predominantly present in the German-speaking market, and it does not collect any user data nor display ads. It is also a Swiss product, and offers both enterprise and consumer solutions.

Threema is regularly audited by external experts and is constantly named one of the most secure messaging apps on the market.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Web

Security features

  • End-to-end encryption using NaCl library
  • Metadata restraint
  • Open-sourced
  • On-premise hosting possibility
  • Decentralized architecture
  • Anonymous use

6. Line

Line is a hugely popular secure messaging app in Japan. Interestingly, it was developed in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake when telecommunications infrastructure was damaged, and internet-based communication remained the only solution to reach people in endangered areas.

Line has more than 700 million users, andt it offers a “letter sealing” feature which is end-to-end encryption at its core. Moreover, this innovative and secure messaging application has several modules: Line News, a content curation service; Line Healthcare, an online medical consultation app; and Line Pay, an online wallet.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Web

Security features

  • End-to-end encryption
  • ISO 27001 certification
  • SOC2 & SOC3 certified
  • PCI DSS Level 1 certified

Top 6 open source secure messaging apps

Open-source code is a staple for many of the most secure messaging apps. Why? Because since everyone can inspect the code, everybody can contribute to its safety. Developer communities are very active in finding and flagging vulnerabilities of open-coded apps, which makes them less likely to experience security breaches.

Moreover, open-source code is becoming industry standard, which is why many companies that used closed-sourced Slack are now looking for Slack open source alternatives.

Here are the most secure messaging apps whose code is open-sourced!

1. Wire

Many professionals say that one of the Wire’s biggest advantages regarding security is the fact that it is based in Switzerland, which is famous for its secure online service regulations.

As it is open-sourced, the GitHub community regularly audits its code, making it one of the most secure messaging apps in that area. Moreover, it could be used as a personal messaging app as well as company communication.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web

Security features

  • Open-source
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Doesn’t sell data nor metadata
  • Registering with email address only
  • GDPR compliant

2. Threema

As previously mentioned, Threema is a very popular security-oriented app in the German-speaking area. It didn’t start as open-source, but switched to it in December 2020, as the open-source feature offers unmatched transparency.

Moreover, Threema users can check if the published code corresponds to the actual app they download. This feature is available for Android users only (for the time being, as they say in Threema).

3. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat’s GitHub community includes more than 30k members that continuously review its code and propose improvements. More than that – Rocket.Chat is the only open-sourced messaging app that operates under MIT license. The license grants users to use the code completely freely and incorporate it in their products without exposing their proprietary code.

As one of the most secure collaboration tools on the market, Rocket.Chat continuously puts emphasis on security and data protection, all while maintaining high flexibility of the platform for its clients.

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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Security features:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • OAuth
  • Single Sign-On
  • LDAP/Active Directory
  • ID-only push notifications

4. Mattermost

Mattermost is a popular open-source messaging platform. With more than 600 integrations, it allows teams to build high-performance workflows for different teams. It's popular among developers as one of the best DevOps collaboration tools.

Naturally, with open-source code comes unlimited UI and UX customization, and white labelling. Mattermost can also be hosted on-premise or in cloud, and it supports real time collaboration across devices.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

Security features

  • TLS encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Annual penetration testing
  • AICPA SOC2 Type 2 certified
  • SAML-based single sign-on

5. Signal

As one of the most popular secure group chat apps, Signal is also marketing itself as open-sourced. However, lately there has been a bit of controversy about this topic: the publicly available server code was not updated for over a year, meaning that the actual code it was running on was not actually disclosed for a while.

Nonetheless, Signal’s code is now publicly available, and it remains one of the most secure consumer messaging apps available.

6. WickrMe

Recently acquired by Amazon, WickrMe has long been known for providing secure instant messaging services. Like many other open-sourced instant messengers, WickrMe also has a Bug Bounty, providing prizes to anybody that finds security vulnerabilities in their code.

WickrMe provides unlimited messaging services, but users often upgrade to WickrPro that also supports voice calls, exchanging photos, and video conferencing.

most secure chat app

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linu

Security features

  • End-to-end encrypted
  • Encryption at rest
  • Auto Delete messages
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Secure link previews
  • Screenshot detection
  • Message revoke

Top 6 secure chat apps that can be deployed on-premise

Despite the popularity of cloud solutions, more and more companies opt for software that can be deployed and hosted on-prem. Why? Because it offers unparalleled security and data protection. It's no wonder that organizations in highly-regulated industries such as government choose on-premise over cloud solutions.

On-premise solutions allow companies to fully own their data, so more and more messaging apps providers are offering this feature. Organizations whose employees communicate sensitive customer data are especially keen to use on-premise apps.

1. Troop Messenger

Troop Messenger is a workplace communication platform that helps employees to collaborate across a single interface. It supports integration with GoogleDrive and DropBox, making it easier and faster for employees to reach documents they need.

Since it is designed for workplace communication, Troop Messenger supports a couple of useful features like answering in stipulated time periods, respond later tagging, and read and delivery status.

If you're looking to fortify cybersecurity for your remote teams, deploying Troop Messenger is a good way to start.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

Security features

  • Server-side encryption
  • Message deletion
  • Finger-print credentials
  • Burnout feature (auto deletion of a conversation)
  • Monitoring information exchanged between coworkers

2. Zulip

Zulip is one of the most secure messaging apps on the market – but it doesn’t implement end-to-end encryption. This means that the admin with access to the server or the database can access all unencrypted messages.

However, Zulip offers other security features like on-premise hosting, advanced authentication protocols, and configurable access control policies. It is also regularly audited externally, which makes this real-time chat and email threading solution a trusted choice.

most secure chat app

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

Security features

  • TLS encryption
  • LDAP/Active Directory
  • Single Sign-On
  • Auto delete messages
  • GDPR and HIPAA compliant

3. Element

This highly secure messaging app with decentralized storage is also open-sourced. Formerly known as Riot, Element now offers instant messaging services with security in mind. Besides being end-to-end encrypted, it also offers its users the opportunity to communicate with other chat platforms like Slack, Signal, Telegram, and more.

When it comes to hosting options, users can set up their own server, or opt for decentralized data storage. Both options ensure high security of user data.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

Security features

  • End-to-end encrypted
  • Decentralized data storage
  • Open-sourced
  • 2-Factor authentication

4. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is not only one of the most secure group chat apps on the market – it also offers services such as CRM and project management. This encompassing tool for internal collaboration is protected with 7 layers of security, starting with an option to host it on your servers.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

Security features

  • 2-Factor authentication
  • HIPAA, GDPR, ISO 27001 certified
  • SSL encryption
  • Web App Firewall

5. Mattermost

Besides being open-sourced, Mattermost offers its users to choose between cloud storage and on-premise hosting. As a security oriented messaging app provider, Mattermost also offers Bug Bounty and performs annual Pen Testing in addition to other security features.

Available on: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Web, Linux

Security features

  • Open-sourced
  • Encryption in transit
  • Encryption at rest
  • GDPR and CCPA compliant

6. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat’s security features portfolio is also enriched with an on-premise hosting option. As our clients are often security-oriented companies, they opt for self deployment, having complete control over their data. The app can also be deployed in an air-gapped environment. It can also be adapted to map the multi-level security structure in highly-regulated industries such as government.

As one of the most secure messaging apps for businesses of any size, Rocket.Chat’s transparency, flexibility, and user-adoption are unmatched! Get in touch with our team and find out how Rocket.Chat could ensure your team to collaborate effortlessly while maintaining the highest security standards of your data.

How to choose between the most secure group chat apps on the market?

After reading this extensive list, you might feel overwhelmed: there is many secure messaging apps on the market today. How can you make your choice?

When you narrow it down to chat apps for business and consumer-oriented messaging apps, the list gets more manageable. If you're in the search for chat apps for your organization, you must first establish if they include the security features that matter to you the most:

  • End-to-end encrypted: read more about this feature below 🔽
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Single Sign-On
  • OAuth with Identity Providers like Google, Okta, and more
  • Open source code
  • LDAP/Active directory
  • On-premise hosting possibility
  • ID-only push notifications
  • Air-gapped deployment
  • Multi-level security options.

Of course, you would want your chat solution to entail the most security features it possibly can. However, some of them - like on-premise hosting - would require more involvement in implementing and running the solution on your end. Therefore, you need to carefully weigh your options. Hopefully our segmented lists of most secure chat apps above helps you in making your decision!

What about encrypted messaging apps?

Encryption was popularized as a method of secure communication mostly due to WhatsApp. When WhatsApp announced it would start encrypting conversations, suddenly it became a security standard.

Even though it is important for keeping your data secure by encrypting the messages that get exchanged, encryption is nowadays a standard feature of secure chats. On our list, all 18 messaging apps are encrypted - both consumer and business-oriented solutions.

Encryption alone is not enough to secure business communication - that's why business usually rely on additional security features listed above to make sure their conversations stay private. They also often apply Zero-trust policies when it comes to organizational security.

Why more and more organizations choose highly secure messaging apps?

People choose consumer messaging apps with enhanced security features because they want their conversations to remain private. Companies want the same.

Exposing communication that goes on between employees or employees and customers can be damaging in more than one ways, but it all comes down to the risk of losing business. Here's what we mean by that:

  • Preventing unintentional mistakes: research shows that human errors are responsible for 82% of all data breaches. What this means is that employees sometimes unintentionally share compromising data. Secure messaging apps incorporate various features that prevents this from happening.
  • High costs of security breaches: another research shows that it takes on average 280 days to identify and contain a data breach. The average cost to a US business? A surprising $3.8 million. Naturally, companies want to prevent any financial damages to their business.
  • Keeping your customers happy: 83% of US customers would stop buying from a business that experienced a security breach. Consumers of today really do care about their data privacy. Keeping your data secure ensures positive business reputation and keeping your customers happy with your protection policies.

All in all - communicating through secure messaging apps is a vital part of keeping your business successful today and in the future. As communication landscape gets more complex due to rising market needs, there are also more vulnerabilities that can be exploited. That's why keeping your data private is a priority for consumers as well as for businesses.

Frequently asked questions about <anything>

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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