Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stiftung Warentest tested Notice: WhatsApp alternatives in the test - NEWS

Threema is the safest WhatsApp alternative. Threema is the safest WhatsApp alternative (Photo: rts / kwe).

Thursday 27 February 2014

After Facebook WhatsApp has bought, many users are looking for the messenger a replacement. There are many offers, but which service is really safe? Stiftung Warentest checked WhatsApp and known alternatives and come to a clear conclusion.

Even before the sale to Facebook, there were good reasons to be cautious in the use of WhatsApp or not to pass up. So encryption is insufficient and the complete customer address books are synchronized on U.S. servers. But there has been no real mood for change, simply because almost all use WhatsApp and there is little help to install a messenger, no one communicates via the. Alternatives could prevail only in small groups, no app reached the critical mass to as Whatsapp to be self-perpetuating.

But the reluctance of many users against Facebook could now change everything. WhatsApp competitors shoot in the download charts at the top, among colleagues and in schoolyards is discussed about possible exchange candidates. But before one comes from bad to worse, one should look at not only their features and design closely.

Stiftung Warentest has four popular WhatsApp Alternatives considered accurate and checked as carefully the Messenger handle the data of their users, which betray the Terms and Conditions and how transparent the functioning of the apps.

WhatsApp without Facebook “very critical”

the privacy of WhatsApp even Stiftung Warentest rated as “very critical”. The Messenger does not end encryption on transfers your contacts without asking and gives phone numbers to third parties. WhatsApp allows to change the Terms at any time disclose information to law enforcement – to notify without the users thereof. The programming of the app is not transparent (open source), so the tester could not determine what further information they may transfer information in encrypted form. You can but – as with all test candidates – exclude that WhatsApp more data communicates unencrypted


from Japan derived Line is also classified as “highly critical,” although Directory entries are transferred with the consent of the user and the app can also be used without this information. The service does not provide end-to-end encryption, the provider could therefore read along chats. The Android app sends the serial number unencrypted to a third party, the iPhone app sends in older iOS versions are not modifiable WLAN address in encrypted form to the provider. The line-Conditions are subject to change at any time without having to inform users and the code is not open source.

Blackberry but not a security expert?

“very critical” estimate the testers also data protection for BlackBerrys BBM . The tester could not determine whether an end encryption exists. At least the iOS version transfers data partially unencrypted, are first and last name to any third party and sent in encrypted form, the email addresses of the users. The Android app transmits encrypted user name and password, first and last name, date of birth, country of origin, the email address and security question and its answer. Positives: The Messenger is also used when the user does not agree to the reading of his address book


In the Conditions, the Canadian company to combine the information collected via the messenger with the knowledge about the user from other sources is allowed. In this way, the company can create accurate personality profiles and tailor advertising specifically to the users. The right to forward data to third parties is very spacious. Blackberry leaves which information must pass it to whom.

security costs a bit of money

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The Russian Telegram recorded in recent days record growth and is currently probably the most popular WhatsApp replacement. The testers evaluate the Messenger Line and slightly better than BlackBerry, judge dealing with the Privacy Policy of telegrams but still considered “critical”. While offering the app to request an end-to-end encryption, but it saves without asking all the contacts and in the Conditions of missing an Imprint and a contact address for privacy questions. As the only test candidate Telegram is at least partially open, Stiftung Warentest not a complete analysis of the data transmission was nevertheless possible.

The clear winner of the test is made in Switzerland. Threema provides a very good, solid encryption and address books are used only on the user’s request for adjustment. Are stored in this case, no real names, but pseudonyms. Anyone who wants can add IDs other Threema users only manually. The only limitation of Stiftung Warentest: Since Threema is not open source, the tester can not exclude that data is encrypted. Although the app next WhatsApp is in the test field is the only paid Messenger. The price for so much security, however, is relatively low. The Android app costs just 1.60 euros, the iOS App 1,79 EUR.


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