space gray iPhone X photo via Unsplash

Apple boasts about having one of the safest ecosystems because iOS is a closed system. This is mostly true, but that does not mean the platform is 100% secure. That is why security researchers still encourage iOS users to stay proactive and take measures to protect their privacy and data. That is why one Apple security expert is warning users to avoid one specific application.

Steven Walker, the CEO of Spylix and a noted Apple security researcher, says that people should avoid downloading… Facebook Messenger.

I bet you did not expect it to be that app, considering how popular it is. Despite Apple’s strict security measures for iPhone users, Walker says the track record of Meta (formerly Facebook) means Messenger cannot be trusted.

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“To the surprise of many, Facebook Messenger is one of the very few such applications that iPhone users should never install on their devices,” Walker says.

“It is so popular that people might not think of it as a problematic application.”

App Problems

If you are unfamiliar with Spylix, it is a phone tracking service that is popular with global government agencies. Walker says the popularity of an app – such as Facebook Messenger – does not necessarily mean it is safe to use.

As well as pointing to Facebook’s track record, Walker says Messenger does not use end-to-end encryption. Other messaging services do provide this feature, while hiding data in transition so even the app developer cannot see it. Walker points to WhatsApp as an alternative to Messenger, even though it too is owned by Facebook/Meta.

For a non-Meta option, there are apps such as Signal and Telegram. It is worth noting that Meta has consistently said it is working on end-to-end encryption but so far the ability has not come to Messenger.

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