Secure messaging – Protect yourself in the age of sms screenshots

Secure messaging – Protect yourself in the age of sms screenshots

Modern society uses text messaging to communicate with friends, family, coworkers, and more. Now, more than ever, text messages are vulnerable to theft. People are more likely to steal private text conversations than ever thanks to smartphones that take screenshots. This breach of privacy lead to embarrassment, damage to relationships and reputation, or even legal issues if sensitive information is exposed. 

Risks of sms screenshots 

Standard SMS text messaging has very few protections when it comes to privacy. Once you hit send on a text, you lose control over where it goes next. The recipient easily takes a screenshot of your messages using their smartphone and then shares them however they choose – by text, email, social media, cloud storage services, etc. You would not indicate that your conversation was captured as a screenshot and shared in this manner. Even deleting the messages from your phone does not delete them from the recipient’s phone or prevent them from taking and sharing screenshots.

  • Publicly sharing private messages without context can cause embarrassment or damage to your reputation. It could include inside jokes, candid conversations, arguments, or secrets.  
  • Relationship issues if screenshots are shown to others, like romantic partners, family, or friends. Other people may use the screenshots to embarrass you or make you look bad.
  • Loss of trust if sensitive information is shared without your consent. It could include confidential business data, personal information, sensitive photos or videos, or private financial information like account numbers.
  • Legal issues if the information in the screenshots is obtained illegally or defames another person’s character. You could be liable even if you did not share the screenshots yourself.

Standard text messaging comes with a few controls to protect your privacy. Even if you trust the person you are messaging, you cannot control what they do with your conversations once the messages are sent. 

Set up screenshot notifications on ios

If you have an iPhone, you set up additional notifications to alert you whenever someone takes a screenshot of your messages or other content. Here’s how to turn on screenshot notifications for iPhone:

  • Open the Settings app and tap Notifications.
  • Tap Screen Recording at the bottom of the page.
  • Toggle on the switch next to Notify When Screen Recording Starts.

Now whenever someone records your screen or takes a screenshot, your iPhone will display a notification banner alerting you enabling you to take action if necessary. This feature works for flagging screenshots taken within your messaging apps as well as any other screenshots on your device.

Use a private note service like PrivNote

how does privnote work? When you need to share sensitive information but want to prevent the recipient from retaining a copy, a private note service allows you to send encrypted messages that only be read once and then disappear. PrivNote is one popular private note service that empowers users to share private notes that self-destruct after being read. Your private note cannot be read by the recipient or anyone else again. PrivNote also utilizes encryption and other privacy technologies to keep notes secure. Just beware of potential risks if you send the PrivNote URL over insecure channels like SMS.