Is Telegram Safe? The Truth About Its Security Features

In an age where digital privacy and security are paramount, the Telegram app has emerged as a beacon for those seeking a secure messaging platform. With its promise of end-to-end encryption and a suite of privacy features, Telegram app security has become a topic of significant interest and debate among users.

But is Telegram really as safe as it claims to be? In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the security features of Telegram and analyze whether it truly lives up to its reputation as a secure messaging app. We’ll also go over some tips on how to enhance your privacy and security while using Telegram.

Is Telegram safe to use?

Let’s get right to the point — is Telegram safe to use? The answer is yes, but with some caveats. Like any other messaging app, Telegram is not 100% foolproof when it comes to security. However, it does offer some features that make it a more secure option compared to other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

As of 2024, Telegram has over 1 million premium subscribers — a testament to its popularity and perceived security. However, that doesn’t mean that the app is completely impervious to security vulnerabilities.

In this section, we’ll break down some of the key security features that Telegram offers and offer insights on how effective they really are in keeping your messages and data safe from prying eyes.

Telegram encryption

One of the main selling points of Telegram is its end-to-end encryption feature. This means that messages sent on Telegram are encrypted from the moment they leave your device until they reach the recipient’s device, making it nearly impossible for anyone to intercept and read them.

For example, if you send a message on Telegram, it will be encrypted on your device and can only be decrypted by the recipient’s device. This ensures that even if someone manages to intercept the message, they won’t be able to read its contents without the encryption key.

However, it’s important to note that end-to-end encryption is not enabled by default in all chats on Telegram. This feature is only available in “secret chats” that cannot be forwarded or saved.

Regular chats on Telegram, on the other hand, use server-client encryption, which means your messages are stored on Telegram’s servers and can potentially be accessed by them.

Telegram security via secret chats

While end-to-end Telegram encryption may not be enabled by default in regular chats on, you can still enhance your privacy and security by using secret chats. As mentioned earlier, secret chats are encrypted from end-to-end and offer additional security features like self-destructing messages. This means that your messages will automatically delete after a certain period, leaving no trace.

Secret chats also offer other security features such as screenshot notifications, which will alert you if someone takes a screenshot of your conversation. Secret chats also do not allow forwarding, saving, or taking screenshots of messages. This ensures that your conversations remain private and cannot be shared without your knowledge.

Telegram privacy features

Aside from encryption and secret chats, Telegram also offers other privacy features that can help enhance your security. Some of these include:

  • Two-factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of protection to your account by requiring a verification code in addition to your password when logging in.
  • Passcode lock: You can set up a passcode for the Telegram app on your device, preventing anyone from accessing your messages without the code.
  • Hidden phone number: You can choose to hide your phone number on Telegram, making it more difficult for others to find you on the app.
  • Blocking and reporting: You can block and report users on Telegram, which helps protect you from unwanted messages or harassment.

Note that while none of these features are unique to Telegram, they do add up to create an impressive  layer of security, helping protect your data from potential threats.

Telegram security issues

Now that we’ve covered the main security features of Telegram, it’s important to also acknowledge some of the potential security issues associated with the app.

These include:

Risks when using third-party apps

While Telegram offers its own end-to-end encryption, it’s worth noting that this may not apply when using third-party apps or bots on the platform. These apps and bots may have their own security measures in place, which can leave your messages vulnerable to potential threats.

To mitigate this risk, make sure to only use trusted third-party apps and bots on Telegram and always check their security policies before giving them access to your messages.

Telegram phishing scams

Ironically, many of the Telegram privacy features that aim to protect users from external threats can also be used by scammers for phishing attempts. For example, the self-destructing messages in secret chats can make it easier for scammers to cover their tracks after sending fraudulent messages.

Here’s an example of what a Telegram phishing scam might look like:Telegram phishing scam

In this example, the scammer is trying to trick the user into giving them access to their Telegram account by clicking on a link. Scammer claims that it’s a “manual authentication” process, but in reality, it’s a phishing attempt to steal the user’s login credentials.

A good rule of thumb is to always assume that anyone who reaches out to you on Telegram asking for personal information or login credentials is a potential scammer. Never click on suspicious links and always report any suspicious activity to Telegram’s security team.

Server security issues

Since regular chats on Telegram are not end-to-end encrypted, there’s a risk that your messages could be accessed by Telegram’s servers. While this is highly unlikely and Telegram has stated that they do not scan or store user messages, it’s still a potential vulnerability to keep in mind.

To mitigate this risk, consider regularly deleting your chat history and avoiding sending sensitive information through regular chats. Instead, opt for secret chats whenever possible for added security.

Hackers targeting Telegram accounts

Hackers have been known to target Telegram accounts using various methods, such as social engineering and SIM swapping. Social engineering involves tricking users into revealing their login credentials or personal information through fake emails or websites.

SIM swapping, on the other hand, is when hackers convince a user’s mobile provider to transfer their phone number to a new device under the hacker’s control. This allows the hacker to access the user’s Telegram account and potentially steal personal information or money.

How to protect your Telegram account from hackers

Hackers are particularly attracted to messaging apps like Telegram due to the amount of personal information and sensitive data that can be found in users’ chats.

To protect your account from potential hackers, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Enable two-factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your account and makes it harder for hackers to access. You will find that option under the “Privacy and Security” section in Telegram’s settings.telegram 2-factor authentication
  • Set up a strong password: Avoid using simple or easily guessable passwords for your Telegram account. Instead, use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to create a strong and unique password.
  • Keep your device software up to date: An up-to-date version of the Telegram app along with your device’s operating system will be much harder for hackers to exploit.
  • Avoid using third-party apps or bots that require access to your Telegram account unless they come from trusted sources.
  • Regularly check for unusual activity in your account and report any suspicious activity to Telegram’s security team. You can do this from the “Privacy and Security” section in Telegram’s settings by clicking on “Active sessions”.telegram active sessions

By taking these precautionary measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your Telegram account being compromised by hackers. As secure as Telegram may be, it’s always important to stay vigilant and take necessary steps to protect your personal data.

How to back up Telegram?

Of course, no matter how careful you are with your Telegram account, there is always a possibility of losing access to it due to a technical issue or unexpected circumstances. To avoid losing all your chats and data, it’s important to regularly back up your Telegram account.

To back up your Telegram account, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Telegram app on your device.
  2. Go to “Settings” by clicking on the three horizontal lines at the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Next, select “Advanced”, then go to “Export Telegram Data”.telegram advanced
  4. Choose what you would like to include in your backup (chats, media, etc.)telegram export
  5. Click on “Export” and choose where you would like to save your backup file.
  6. Once the export is complete, you will receive a notification and your backup file will be saved in the chosen location.

It’s recommended to regularly back up your Telegram account, especially if you have important or sensitive information saved in your chats. By following these steps, you can ensure that even if something were to happen to your account, you can easily restore it and all your data.


Is Telegram as safe as WhatsApp?

While both apps offer end-to-end encryption for their secret chats, Telegram has more privacy features and customizable security options. However, the level of safety ultimately depends on how you use the app and the precautions you take to protect your data. Also, you can check our post with a detailed comparison of Telegram vs WhatsApp security and privacy features.

What are the disadvantages of Telegram?

Some potential disadvantages of Telegram include the lack of end-to-end encryption for regular chats. It also relies on a phone number for account verification, which can pose problems if you change your number or lose access to it.

Can Telegram users see my phone number?

By default, your phone number is visible to contacts who have you saved in their address book. However, this can be changed in the “Privacy and Security” section of Telegram’s settings.

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