Facebook’s messaging service, Facebook Messenger, is one of the most popular instant messaging services on the planet alongside the likes of WhatsApp and WeChat. The service is easy to use and only requires users to have an active Facebook account and a secure internet connection.
The app has a whole host of features but the one that we are going to be focus on today are the secret conversations that the app allows users to have. We are going to examine how users can decrypt these secret conversations, while also looking at how you can start them in the first place. Let’s get started.
How to decrypt secret conversations on Facebook – the most simple way
Before getting into the crooks of decrypting secret conversations on Facebook, it’s important that we understand what this feature actually is.
To cut a long story short, secret conversations on Facebook allow users to privately talk with someone in ultimate privacy. In other words, the conversations are protected from any hacks, search warrants and reports and the way that Facebook guarantees this is through encryption.
When you receive a secret conversation from someone on Facebook, you won’t be notified – you have to manually check within the secret conversations tab on messenger (more on this later). If you do have any messages in this folder then the message text won’t make any sense to you – it will just be a series of numbers and symbols that require you to decrypt.
To complete this process, all Facebook users need to do is enable secret conversations on their app and then enter in the security key that is automatically generated for both participants in the conversation. The decryption will only work if both users have enabled secret conversations so that is ultimately the most important part of the puzzle. To enable secret conversations on Facebook, please follow these steps:
- Log on to the Messenger app on your mobile device.
- Select the icon that looks like a pen and paper on the top right hand side of the screen.
- Select the padlock icon on the top right hand side of the screen until it is showing as green.
- Find the person you want to message secretly and send whatever you wish to send like you would on a normal message.
How to access your secret conversations
As mentioned earlier, you won’t receive a notification for secret conversations like you do for normal messages that you receive via Facebook Messenger. Instead, users have to go into their settings to find the secret conversations tab in order to see if anyone has sent them anything secretly.
While this is fine if you are aware that someone is going to be sending you an encrypted message, it can be frustrating if you don’t as by the time you bother to check, the message may well be out of date and no longer important/relevant to your life.
In order to access all of your secret conversations on Facebook, please follow these instructions:
- Log on to Facebook Messenger on your mobile device.
- Select your profile icon on the top left hand side of the screen.
- Select ‘message requests’.
- If you have any secret messages, you will see a tab titled ‘secret conversations’.
- Select the tab and view all the encrypted messages in there.
Why Facebook has this feature
There is some controversy relating to this feature, after all it does scream red flags if someone is going out of their way to send encrypted messages to another users. Undoubtedly, this function will be used for illegal activity, and also for immoral activity such as conversing with someone else behind your partners back.
On the other hand, though, the service can be used for positive reasons. If you are sending someone sensitive information such as bank details or credit card information, then you want to protect yourself from hacks. By encrypting the message from your device to the recipients device you are ensuring that only people who have access to these devices are able to pick up this information.
If you were to send sensitive information on a normal Facebook message and one of the accounts involved in the conversation got hacked, then that information would be picked up instantly by the hacker and you could potentially have you bank account cleaned out.
Hacks are taking place more and more often across all social media platforms and Facebook is ahead of the game when it comes to providing their users with this encrypted option.
To conclude decrypting secret conversations on Facebook is a fairly straightforward tasks that just involves the user turning this feature on within the Messenger app. Once this has been done, and the security key has been obtained, then all encrypted messages such become accessible.
In terms of the morality of this feature, we believe that using it should be encouraged when sensitive data is involved. Facebook is generally quite hot on the security of accounts, which is why you can’t see the profile picture of someone if they’ve blocked you – this is for their protection.