Following the discovery of Carrier IQ, the devious app that stealthily collects data on smartphone users, putting a little more priority on security is worth considering. After all, you never know who is watching so you should probably assume that lots of prying parties are watching.
If you’re a user of an Android device, you can at least take back some of your privacy. Yesterday, Whisper Systems launched a replacement for the standard texting app for Androids that encrypts all of your text messages and stores them in an encrypted database within your phone. TextSecure, which is now available for free in the Android Market, ensures that your message will not be accessible if your phone is ever stolen and, even better, if you are texting with another user of TextSecure then you’re messages can’t be monitored over the air. It works just like the standard texting app for Android except now your messages will be secure.
TextSecure has actually been available for the past year and half but was only published as open source software earlier this week. Whisper Systems hopes that the with the new availability of the source, TextSecure “will be able to reach even more people with an even larger number of contributors working to make it a great product” (The source can be found here). In the time that it’s been available, overall reviews of TextSecure have been overwhelmingly great with an average rating of 4.3 stars in the Android Market.
For first-time users of TextSecure, you can check out Whisper Systems’ wiki for how to set up the app.
Just curious, but is anybody freaked out enough to give secure text messaging app replacements like TextSecure a try? If so, what’d you think? Let us know in your comments.