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Friday, June 30, 2017

Telegram VS Whatsapp (aka Facebook)

Whatsapp Info Given to Facebook
I deleted my Whatsapp account.

It was because I was creeped out by how Facebook (which owns Whatsapp) would show me advertisements about the ANOVA sous-vide machine just a few hours after I had chatted with my friend about the machine. This was after Whatsapp sent me messages saying that my messages were encrypted end to end... and that without my permission, my data would not be shared with Facebook.

Facebook Desires My Mobile Number VERY MUCH
When I left Whatsapp, Facebook started to bug me to use FB messenger on my mobile phone. I could not send FB messages from my smart phone anymore, unless I downloaded the Facebook messenger app. I decided I could live with that. Next, Facebook started bugging me for my mobile number as a security measure to rescue my account. I did not comply. After some time, I found that something had happened to my FB log in. I had to key in my password twice in order to get into my account. The first time I keyed in my password, a scary messsage about losing my account would appear. A request for me to give Facebook my mobile number in order to rescue my account would also appear.

I began to wonder why FB was sooooo keen to get my phone number. I still don't know why.

What I find disturbing is that Facebook owns Whatsapp AND Instagram. A mobile number is a critical piece of information that links all 3. If people have all 3 social media presences, there is nothing about a person that Facebook does not know. Facebook knows all and sees all... my private conversations with my husband... the deepest fears I share with my friends... photographs I want to share only with my closest.

Dangers of Giving ALL My Information to ONE Company
Even if Facebook is benign, hackers are not. My greatest fear was to have a hacker get into my Facebook account and learn things about me that would give them access to my bank accounts. Since people share different things across different platforms, if a hacker gains access to 1 of the 3 accounts (Insta, FB or Whatsapp) and from there, he/she accesses the others, the hacker knows everything and anything about me that I have shared.

As a result, I share nothing on Instagram and precious little on Facebook. These days, Facebook is useful only because I can take part in forums like the Singapore Celiac and Gluten Intolerance Group... Blessing Items for Low Income Families... Singapore Urban Gardening... Yarns Spree... These groups discuss things I am interested to grow my competence in. In return, all I have to do is occasionally contribute my own knitting or food projects and a bit of my own know how. After all, when one benefits from others' sharing, one must give back too.

About Telegram
Secret Chat: As an alternative to Facebook, I signed up with Telegram. Telegram allows an option called the Secret Chat. The secret chat sends me alerts when people take screenshots of my chat with them. I can also set a self-destruct timer that will destroy all my messages in that chat after a specified time.

Multi-Device Use: Telegram allows multi-device use. If you use whatsapp on a computer, the connections are unstable. If your phone is not switched on, whatsapp web does not work. With Telegram, I can switch off my phone and still interact via my desktop.

Send Files: I tend to use Telegram for work from my desktop. Telegram allows me to send files... pdf documents, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets. Along with the stable connection, this feature is very useful.

Pretty Stickers: I also love Telegram stickers. They are super fun! See picture below.

Delete Messages After Sending: I always send Whatsapp messages to the wrong person. Telegram allows me to delete the message from the chat after sending.

Name Mention: Telegram allows you to mention people in groups. So, you can mute a group and read nothing until someone mentions your name.

Confidential Phone Number: When people add me to a group where there are strangers, my phone number does not appear to these strangers.

Lock Chats: You can lock your chats in Telegram so that no one can see your personal messages.

Edit Messages: You can also edit messages after sending.

Partial Info: Best of all, Facebook does not own Telegram so I share only small parts of my life with Facebook. It does not get a whole picture of who I am.

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