For startups and small businesses, communication is key. Whether it’s messaging between team members or communicating with customers and clients, having secure and private channels is essential. Especially in the beginning stages, startups need to build trust and credibility which relies heavily on keeping sensitive information confidential. Text messaging through standard SMS and other mainstream messaging apps may seem like an easy solution, but often lacks encryption and other privacy protections. Specialized private and encrypted messaging apps have emerged to fill this need for startups and small teams who need to communicate securely.
Most startups rely heavily on text messaging to coordinate, share ideas, and make decisions. However, standard SMS and messaging through apps like iMessage have serious security flaws and vulnerabilities. Text messages are transmitted unencrypted and are easily intercepted by carriers and malicious actors. The contents of messages are also stored indefinitely on company servers.
For a startup handling sensitive information like intellectual property, financial data, or customer information, this lack of privacy poses huge risks. Intercepted messages containing private data could be disastrous for credibility and trust. Data breaches could also expose highly sensitive information leading to major financial and legal consequences. Mainstream messaging apps may seem convenient, but the lack of encryption and control over data makes them unreliable for startups handling private communications. More secure solutions are required to reduce these risks. To protect sensitive communications, startups need messaging tools that incorporate strong encryption, access controls, and data protection. It is where private and encrypted messaging apps come in. Here are some key benefits they provide:
- End-to-end encryption secures messages in transit and stored data.
- Message contents are not accessible to the app provider or third parties.
- Access controls like login requirements and PINs prevent unauthorized access.
- Message deletion options allow control over data retention.
- Open source code and third-party audits ensure strong security standards.
These protections private message apps allow startups to communicate securely on sensitive topics without fear of their data being exposed. Employees coordinate confidently on intellectual property, financials, and other private business matters. Communications with customers and partners also be kept confidential. This ability to control access and encryption is critical for startups to operate with privacy. Adopting these apps early on helps establish security practices that carry through as the business grows.
Building good security practices
Adopting a private messaging app is the first step, but startups should also establish wise policies and practices to get the most out of these tools.
- Mandate use of the private app for any sensitive discussions, such as finances, legal issues, intellectual property, customer data, etc. Avoid standard messaging for these conversations.
- Delete messages frequently and set shorter burn times to limit stored data. Avoid retaining messages long-term.
- Use access controls like PIN codes to limit access only to authorized team members. Don’t allow open access.
- Train employees on responsible usage and security best practices for the app. Establish clear rules.
- Turn on all available security features like encryption and backup protections provided by the app.
- Regularly update to the latest version of the app to ensure optimal security.
Following security best practices maximizes the benefits of a private messaging solution. Make private messaging security central to your startup’s culture.