By default, communications through Facebook Messenger are not end-to-end encrypted, which means that theoretically another party could retrieve sensitive information from the chat if they were nefariously minded. It also means that the conversations are basically wide open for reading by Facebook and whoever has access to Facebook data.
If you’re a privacy buff (then why are you using Facebook, which is the antithesis of privacy?) you may be interested in enabling end-to-end encryption on your Facebook Messenger chats. End-to-end encryption makes it so that nobody, including Facebook, can read the content of your messenger conversations.
Curiously, Facebook does not have a global end-to-end encrypted messaging setting, which probably demonstrates how enthusiastic they are to not be able to read your messages, so you have to enable this one by one on a per conversation basis.
How to Enable End-to-End Encryption in Facebook Messenger for iPhone
- Open the Messenger app if you haven’t done so already, then tap on the conversation you want to encrypt
- In the messenger thread, now tap on the persons profile at the very top of the screen
- Look for “Go to secret conversation” under the More actions section
- Tap back, then repeat with other conversations you want to end-to-end encrypt as desired
Now that you have end-to-end encryption enabled for a particular Facebook Messenger conversation, you can be somewhat more confident that nobody is going to be creeping in on your conversation. But it’s still Facebook, which is not exactly a bastion of privacy given that you and your information are their product, so how much you trust them as a secure platform for communication is entirely up to you.
If you’re serious about having secure conversations that are encrypted and less likely to be snooped upon by who knows what and who, you might consider using something like Signal, which is always end-to-end encrypted, and offers other nice features like disappearing messages too. Given that Signal’s entire business model is focused on security, privacy, and encryption, it’s probably more reasonable to trust something like that, compared to a company like Meta/Facebook whose entire business model is gathering details about you and selling your information.
Don’t forget to check out more Facebook Messenger tips if this strikes your fancy!