Using Telegram Safely: Top-10 Tips

  • Nick Howard
  • 30 Mar 2022
Using Telegram Safely: Top-10 Tips Poster

Telegram has quickly become one of the main messaging apps on the market since its release in 2013. This Russian platform is well known for refusing to share user chats and data with the security services of the country, which demonstrates its user-centric policy. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the messenger has become an indispensable source of news and communication for Ukrainians. This quick guide covers all the tips you need to know to ensure your Telegram activity is 100% safe. 

1. Use Secret Chats

You should know that regular Telegram chats aren’t encrypted, which means your messages can be potentially intercepted and read. To escape this, use encrypted secret chats. Here’s how:

  1. Open the app and tap the blue pencil icon;

  2. Tap “New Secret Chat” at the top;

  3. Select the contact to chat with. 

Important: Secret chats are not synced between connected devices. 

2. Enable 2SV

When 2-step verification (2SV) is enabled, you have to enter a one-time security code every time you log in from a new device. Here’s how to enable it:

  1. Open the app and tap the 3-line icon in the top-left of the screen;

  2. Tap “Settings” > “Privacy and Security” and tap “Two-Step Verification” to enable it. 

3. Disable Active Sessions

This option lets you remotely log off on devices you don’t own or don’t need anymore. Follow these steps:

  1. Tap the 3-line icon in the top-left again;

  2. Go to “Settings” > “Privacy and Security” > “Active Sessions”;

  3. Tap “Terminate all other sessions.” 

4. Send Self-Deleting Media

This option works in both standard and secret chats and lets you send media that disappears automatically. 

  1. Select any chat;

  2. Tap the paperclip icon at the bottom;

  3. Take a photo or video;

  4. Tap the stopwatch icon at the bottom of the screen and set up the expiration timer;

  5. Send your message and it will disappear soon. 

5. Delete Senders’ Messages

Unlike most other messengers, Telegram lets you delete both your own and senders’ messages in one-on-one chats. It’s easy to do:

  1. Open any chat;

  2. Tap and hold a message you want to delete;

  3. Once selected, tap the delete icon;

  4. Tap “Also delete for {name}” and confirm. 

6. Lock Chats

If your phone doesn’t support app locking, you can lock Telegram from within:

  1. Tap the 3-line icon and go to “Settings” > “Privacy and Security” > “Passcode Lock”;

  2. Tap “Enable passcode,” enter the preferred passcode, and confirm. 

7. Use Proxies

Although a VPN is a must these days, it can be quite inconvenient to enable it every time you want to use Telegram. Fortunately, the app lets you enable individual proxy to hide your real Telegram IP:

  1. Tap the 3-line icon and go to “Settings” > “Data and Storage”;

  2. Select “Proxy Settings” at the bottom of the list;

  3. Add a proxy and enable it. 

8. Check Group Permissions

It can be quite disturbing and even unsafe when unknown users add you to various chats. You can specify users who can do this:

  1. Tap the 3-line icon and go to “Settings” > “Privacy and Security” > “Groups”;

  2. Select “My Contacts” instead of “Everybody.”

9. Delete Payment & Shipping Data

Telegram isn’t considered a good place to share your payment and shipping data, so we recommend deleting it ASAP if you need to buy something via the messenger:

  1. Tap the 3-line icon and go to “Settings” > “Privacy and Security”;

  2. Tap "Clear Payment and Shipping Info."

  3. Select Shipping info" and "payment info" and tap “Clear.”

10. Set Account Delete Timer

To protect your Telegram data in case you lose your device or someone steals it, it’s wise to enable an account delete timer. Here’s how to do it:

  • Tap the 3-line icon and go to “Settings” > “Privacy and Security”;

  • Select “ Delete my Account,” and select the period next to “If away for.“ 

  • Your account will be deleted automatically if you don’t use the app long enough.

Bulletproof!

Now your Telegram app is literally bulletproof and won’t let anyone, including hackers and security services, view your sensitive chat data. Share this piece with friends so that they can learn these tips too and feel free to add your own tips in the comments!

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