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Everything you should know about Telegram

Everything you should know about Telegram

By daniele

Currently, a lot of users have started to use Telegram as their trusted messaging app. Actually, whenever there’s a WhatsApp outage or a major change to its privacy policy, more people consider this encrypted messaging platform.

The best alternative

Despite the wide variety of WhatsApp alternatives for those who want to break free of Facebook’s ecosystem, Telegram is one of the more popular choices, not only because of its popularity but also because it is one of the best encrypted messaging apps, offering a cross-platform, cloud-based distributed messaging service with no ads.

And you’re right, Telegram is very similar to Apple’s Messages, but this interface has dedicated apps for all platforms (PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS), and it also allows you to set up secret chats with messages that can self-destruct after a set amount of time, giving you a new level of privacy. 

Telegram is not as secure as you might think

However, is Telegram secure enough to fully protect your data? As you see, the app has come under exhaustive analysis by security experts, who affirm its cryptography is untested and, in fact, not secure enough to be used by political dissidents or other people transmitting highly sensitive information.

But if you were wondering, to date, no one has figured out how to break Telegram’s encryption. Of course, many experts recommend using Signal or WhatsApp instead, as both use the Signal protocol for their encryption.

Although, if we have to compare, there is a huge difference between Signal and Telegram. Basically, Telegram’s text chats are not end-to-end encrypted by default. Chats on both other platforms are.

This means that Telegram can read your messages and could possibly have to hand them over following a request to do so by law enforcement. While Telegram is legally based in London, it also has some operations in Dubai.

How to install Telegram

Anyways, if you still want to try Telegram, even if it’s just to satisfy your curiosity, here are the steps you have to follow to install it and enjoy it!

1. Download the Telegram app

First of all, it is important that you look for the device’s version you want to set up. You’ll find some links to download it below:

Note: Before using the desktop versions of Telegram, you have to set it up using a mobile app.

2. Register your phone number

At this point and after you install the app, Telegram will send you an SMS text message that will include a code for number verification. Keep in mind that if you don’t enter the verification code within three minutes, Telegram will call your phone.

3. Enter the SMS verification code

Now, the app will have a field into which you input the SMS verification code.

4. Telegram may call your phone instead

After that, a robotic voice will read out a five-digit code, which you can then enter into the app.

5. Enter your display name

Okay, here Telegram will ask you for at least a first name. But don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be the real one. You can try with an alias as it serves as a display name. Nevertheless, the display name isn’t your username and others can’t use it to find your account. If they do want to find your account, they would need to search for you by your username instead.

6. Let Telegram access your contacts

Well, this could be a downside because, sadly, you can’t just type in a phone number and start messaging. You will need to give Telegram permission to access your contacts before you can send messages to anyone. Nonetheless, people who are not in your contacts can still invite you to Telegram chats.

7. (Optional) Add two-step verification

Finally, you will have to grant the app access to your photos, media, and files so that you can use it to send photos and other files. It also wants to access your lockscreen  so it can show you incoming calls. However, if you are one of those users who only want to use the app to type messages, it won’t be a problem if you don’t allow it access.