Signal has been seeing in the last week a surge of users migrating from Whatsapp in protest about their new privacy policies, it also got significant support from Tesla boss Elon Musk when he tweeted “Use Signal”. If you are just starting to use the privacy-focused messaging application here we offer you a few features that will help make the most out of using the app.
1. Screen Lock
Even if your phone is unlocked, Signal has a Screen Lock that you access the phone through a PIN, any biometric lock, your phone might have to open the Signal app. So even if someone picks up your phone for any reason, and knows your unlock code, they wouldn’t be able to see your messages. Just remember to make it differently.
To do this, go to Settings > Privacy > Toggle Screen Lock on.
2. Turn off “Who Joined” Signal notifications
Because a lot of people are joining Signal right now, your phone will start pinging like crazy if a lot of your friends and contacts are signing up. You can turn off these notifications.
To do this, go to Settings > Notifications > Toggle Contact Joined Signal off.
3. Blur faces on photos
Concerned about privacy? if you don’t always want to send photos with people’s faces in them unless you’ve gotten their consent, Signal has an option that includes an automatic face blurring tool, you can also manually swipe out additional parts of the screen to blur, this is a great feature in the case you need to send an ID document, and blur some data, for example.
To do this, Tap the + sign > Tap on a picture to send > Tap on the Blur button > Toggle Blur faces. You’ll be able to draw anywhere on the screen with your finger to blur any other additional information.
4. Send a disappearing message
Signal has had this feature for a long time. These are messages that have a time limit, and then get deleted, so that your conversations remain private.
To do this, open a chat, then enter the menu by tapping on the person’s name > Toggle Disappearing Messages > Slide the timer to set how long the message will last.
5. Set how many times an attachment can be seen
We can set a time limit to a message and then making it disappear. You can send a picture or video that can only be seen five times, once it’s closed, the attachment disappears. So, it can be viewed days or weeks after you sent it, but only those five times.
To do this, Tap the + sign > Tap on a picture to send > Tap on the Infinity icon in the bottom left corner. That’s all you need to do, and then you can send the attachment as usual.