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“Signal Launches Usernames to Enhance Privacy and Security in Messaging App”

Signal, the renowned end-to-end encrypted messaging app, has just announced the launch of usernames as a new feature to enhance privacy and security. This update allows users to communicate with others on Signal without having to share their phone numbers. While usernames are currently in beta, they will soon be available to all users in the coming weeks. It’s important to note that registering for Signal still requires a phone number.

Signal has always been recognized for its robust security and privacy features, setting it apart from other messaging apps. By introducing usernames, Signal is closing one of the few loopholes that could potentially grant hackers access to a user’s messages. In the past, hackers could hijack a user’s phone number at the carrier level, which was used to register with Signal. Now, with usernames, users can keep their phone numbers private, adding an extra layer of protection.

However, it’s crucial to understand that Signal usernames differ from those on social media platforms. They are not logins or handles that you’ll be known by within the app. Instead, they serve as a convenient way to connect with others without sharing your phone number. Your profile name will still be displayed as you set it, and your username will remain hidden unless you explicitly share it with someone. Unlike platforms like Facebook or Instagram, Signal does not provide a searchable directory of usernames. To connect with someone, you’ll need to know their exact username or use a QR code or link that directs you to their username.

Once you create a username, your phone number will no longer be visible to anyone running the latest version of Signal unless they already have it saved in their contacts. This means that when you message others, your phone number will not appear. Instead, they will only see your profile name and image. However, if you prefer people to see your phone number when you message them, you can adjust this setting in your “Phone Number” settings.

To create a username, simply navigate to your “Profile” settings. Choose a unique username that ends with two or more numbers. Signal allows you to change your username as often as you like, and you can even delete it if you no longer wish to have one. The flexibility of usernames allows users to create specific usernames for events like conferences or group trips and change them once they are no longer needed.

To initiate a chat with someone using their username, open the “New Chat” screen in the app and enter their username. This streamlined process makes it easy to connect with others while maintaining privacy.

In addition to usernames, Signal is also introducing a new privacy setting that enables users to control who can find them on the app using their phone number. Previously, anyone who had your phone number could find you on Signal, whether they obtained it from social media or a business card. Now, you have the option to restrict this by adjusting the “Who can find me by my number” setting in your account. By selecting “Nobody,” you ensure that only those with whom you have shared your username can connect with you.

On the other hand, choosing the “Everybody” option allows anyone with your phone number to send you a message request on Signal. However, you still have the power to reject or block these requests, maintaining control over your privacy.

Signal’s introduction of usernames and enhanced privacy settings further solidifies its position as a leader in secure messaging apps. With these updates, users can communicate with peace of mind, knowing that their personal information is protected. As usernames roll out to all users in the coming weeks, Signal continues to prioritize user privacy and security in an increasingly interconnected digital world.


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