You can use end-to-end encryption in Telegram to ensure that a hacker can’t overhear your messages. This feature isn’t active by default, and you should start a “Secret Chat” to enjoy it. Using Secret Chat over a regular chat have some benefits, including:
- Messages use end-to-end encryption.
- Messages stay on devices, not on Telegram's servers.
- Messages are device-specific, so you cannot sync them with other devices. If you are using your smartphone, this chat won't be shown on your Windows version of Telegram that uses the same account.
- Messages cannot be forwarded.
- Messages can be set to self-destruct.
- Messages can only be deleted for both parties, not one or the other.
To start a Secret Chat, tap on the new message icon in the bottom right of the Chats screen and then select "New Secret Chat." Now select the contact you want to initiate a Secret Chat with, and on the next screen, it will show that you have invited them to join. Note that in order to Secret Chat with them, they need to be on your contacts list.
In order to access Telegram’s security settings, tap on “Settings” in app’s main menu. On the next screen, under settings, tap on “Privacy and Security”. In next screen, you will see three options under “Security” that we will discuss respectively:
You can set a passcode for your app to eliminate the possibility of accessing Telegram by anyone else. By tapping on Passcode Lock, you’ll see its settings screen. If this feature is inactive, activate it and enter your passcode. If it’s active, you can change your current passcode by tapping on “Change Passcode”.
Until April 2015, users could log in to Telegram by merely entering a code received in the text message. This process is still used but gives the opportunity to hackers to intercept a message sent to a client’s device and get access to his/her account. Now users can use two-step verification that is a lot more secure. In this method, a preset password will be required in addition to received code in the text message to log in. This is how you can enable two-step verification on telegram:
1. Choose Two-Step Verification.
2. After tapping on Two-Step Verification, tap on “Set Additional Password” and enter your password which consists of alphabets and numbers. Now tap on the tick mark icon at the top-right corner of the screen. Do the same after you re-enter your password to eliminate mistakes.
3. After you have confirmed your password, you will be asked to create a password hint that will help you remember your password. When you are done, tap on the tick mark icon located at the top-right corner of the screen. Now you can provide a recovery email. Enter your email address and Telegram will send a confirmation email to you.
4. Now all you have to do is opening the email sent by Telegram and click on the included link to enable 2-step verification.
Have you ever suspected that someone else has unauthorized access to your account? Telegram lists all your logged in devices with IP info. You can close any sessions that are suspicious. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to close even your outdated sessions.
By choosing “Active Sessions”, Telegram will show a list of sessions. Tap on any item that you want to close. Then you will see a message that asks to verify terminating the session. By tapping on OK, Telegram closes it.
At the top of sessions list, there is a “Terminate All Other Sessions” option that closes them all, except the session on the device you are currently using.
We talked about security aspects of using Telegram. But you there are other settings that help you to protect your privacy. Let’s take a look at them:
In the Privacy and Security screen, you can see “Account self-destruct” below the security options. If you tap on it, a dialogue box with four options (1 month, 3 months, 6 months and one year) pops up. By selecting one of them, you tell Telegram to delete your account with all of its data if you don’t come online at least once within that period.
If you receive a Telegram message when your smartphone is in sight, everyone can see message preview that contains sender’s account and the initial part of message’s text. This can be unpleasant. To avoid it, in app’s main menu tap on “Settings” and in new screen tap on “Notifications and Sounds” under Settings. Now turn off “Message Preview”.
Hiding Telegram media from Gallery
Another trick to keep priers disappointed is preventing all the media that you receive, from ending up in your gallery. For doing this, in Telegram’s main menu tap on Settings and disable “Save to Gallery” under Messages.
Hiding your last seen
It is possible that you for any personal reason decide to hide your last seen time from others. For doing that, go to Settings > Privacy and Security. Now under Privacy tap on “Last Seen” that lets you decide who can see your last seen time. Note that this is a two-way setting, so you can’t see their last seen times too.
Following all of these steps takes you not more than 30 minutes, but it can make your experience with telegram significantly more secure.