Telegram messenger; an overview

telegram messenger

Telegram is a multi-platform to send and receive messages including texts, images, voice and documents. It was established by a Russian entrepreneur, Pavel Durov.

The android version of telegram was available for the users from October 20, 2013 and this application has around 200 million users till date.

The usage of telegram platform usually hypes when any of the other competitors faces a scandal or issue.

The core function of telegram is same as other messaging apps. You can send messages, call contacts, create group conversations and also send files and stickers.

One of the major features of telegram is its privacy. This platform always ensures to employ end-to-end encryption. This prevents a third person from indulging into a conversation – even if it’s the company, the government or hackers.

However telegram only utilizes this feature in calls and secret chats, but not in regular chats. In normal chats these are only encrypted client to the servers.

Meanwhile whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption feature in messages, video calls and calls since 2016.

So for an average person it doesn’t necessarily mean that using telegram to send messages is more private or secure than while using whatsapp.

Unless people use secret chat feature in telegram, Whatsapp is technically more secure.

According to the CEO of telegram, Pavel Durov, telegram doesn’t find its fund through advertisement or data sharing

Adding to, telegram also ensures your internet privacy by protecting your personal data from third parties such as marketers, advertisers etc.

In other words, while organizations like Facebook, Google and Amazon finds a good income by selling the personal information of the users to the business magnets, telegram does not do that.

Advantages of Telegram

Compared to other messaging platforms, telegram has specific differences. They include:

  • Secret chats

‘Secret chat’ is a feature of telegram where you can take part in an end-to-end encryption conversation with any contact. But the main highlight of this feature is that it does not allow either of the users to forward a message from the secret chat or take screenshot of them.

  • Self-destruct timers

If you wish to remove the messages from your secret chat on a regular basis, self-destruct feature helps you to remove them. When you receive a message, it remains in your chat for a particular time period after which it is disappeared. The duration can be from one second to one week. The user has the freedom to choose the appropriate timing.

  • Global message deletion

This is a latest feature introduced by telegram. This allows the users to delete messages sent by other users. This is somewhat an alienating feature. Having your messages deleted by someone else doesn’t make you feel good. But if the conversation is between a trusted contact and you, this method helps you to control your online communications.

  • Large files can be sent

Telegram allows users to send files up to a limit of 1.5 GB where Whatsapp’s limit is just 100MB.

  •  Customizations

Telegram comes with a lot of customization options while the other competitors lack them. Telegram allows the users to choose the dominant app colour.

Telegram provides options to create chat bots to improve chat experience.

Disadvantages of telegram

  • Video calling

Telegram does not allow video calling while this option is predominant in other social media apps.

  • Offline status functionality

Telegram allows the user’s to ‘appear offline’ while the functionality is a bit problematic. Telegram exhibits an estimation of when a user last used the application so that it will be visible how recently you used the app.

  • New user announcement

Telegram sends notification to all of the contacts when a new user has joined. This is a big stipulation to those users who wish to maintain a low profile.

  • Stories and statuses

Telegram doesn’t have the feature for the users to display their stories and statuses.

Is it secure to join telegram?

If you are a person who give great importance to privacy and is troubled by news regarding online security and data breaches, you should definitely consider using Telegram with the secret chat featured enabled.

Even if telegram highlights theirs privacy policy features, you should check out Android Privacy Guide for a broader look.

Some basic steps to stay cautious!

  • Use your secondary phone number to sign in to telegram, or even a virtual phone number could work. Make sure you don’t use a one-time number as someone else could access your account.
  • Use a secure VPN to hide your IP address.

Since large files can be sent in telegram, this feature is often misused by the people to circulate movies, series and TV shows. Movies released in the OTT platform are found available in telegram within minutes after the release, and people enjoy them without paying a single penny. This brings a major financial loss to them.

And also, Cyber cell has found that pornographic contents and their sharing have been increasing in this platform.

So in order to prevent these illegal activities, telegram has brought its new privacy policy which strictly prohibits sharing of pirated copies of movies and also banned pornographic contents.

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