Viber Turns On End-to-End Encryption

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Viber is the latest messaging app to turn on end-to-end encryption, but for those who want extra privacy, the service also now offers hidden chats.

"We have been working on this for a long time and are proud that our users can confidently use Viber without fear of their messages being intercepted—whether it is in a one-to-one or group message, on a call, on desktop, mobile, or tablet," Viber COO Michael Shmilov wrote in a blog post.

The feature will roll out over the next two weeks. Users will need to upgrade to the latest version of Viber to enable end-to-end encryption. A gray padlock icon next to the text bar will "confirm you are secured," Shmilov said.

Each device will get an individual cryptography key, which will allow users to authenticate contacts and mark them as "trusted" and turn their padlock green. Keep an eye out for a red lock icon, though, which signifies a problem with the authentication key. That could mean your friend changed their primary phone number, or you are the victim of a man-in-the-middle attack. At any rate, they will need to be "re-trusted."

But what if you want to keep you conversations hidden from hackers and your loved ones? Viber's new Hidden Chats feature will let you hide your messages from the main screen, so whether you're planning a surprise party or just being sketchy, those with access to your phone will be none the wiser. Swipe left to hide, then use a PIN code for personal access.

The move comes two weeks after messaging rival WhatsApp turned on full end-to-end encryption.

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