How to Use Signal App (tips and tricks).| Signal doesn’t have a comparable user base against Facebook and even Telegram, but it does bring something very basic to the conversation: privacy.
Recently privacy breaches and tacit collection of user data have become the norm, Signal brings an “unexpected focus on privacy”, as the company itself does. The app comes with end-to-end encryption and offers several privacy features that you won’t find anywhere else.
So today, I’m going to share how to use the Signal app along with the best tips and tricks that can improve your messaging experience and protect your privacy from all sides. If you have recently moved to Signal then worry not, I have also mentioned some basic features to make your onboarding easy.
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1. Enable Screen Lock
If you recently switched to Signal then off, enable Screen Lock to restrict your messages from unauthorized access. Signal offers a built-in locker and you don’t need to use any third-party app locking apps. The best part is that it supports Android biometrics too. So tap on your ‘profile icon’ in the top left corner and go to”Privacy“. Now, enable the toggle for “Screen Lock” and done.
Furthermore, you can set “inactivity timeout” custom for when Signal can lock itself automatically. That is the first Signal tip you should take advantage of.
2. Set PIN
While setting up Signal, you have to add a 4 digit PIN but it is not for app lock. This is an extra layer for implementing 2-factor authorization. With the latest update, Signal has made it mandatory to set a PIN for reinstallation, backup restore, and identity verification.
So if you want to change PIN or customize other 2FA options, follow this simple Signal trick. Tap ‘profile icon‘ in the top left corner and open “privacy” again. Here, scroll down and enable it “Registration LockNow, whenever you will reinstall Signal, you will be asked for a PIN before being able to set up your account. You can also change the PIN or generate an alphanumeric code from the options below. Not to mention, Signal will occasionally remind you to enter the PIN so that you can remember it.
3. Blur Face
Recently, Signal announced a new feature that will further enhance user privacy. Now with just one tap, you can automatically blur faces on Signal before sharing the image. This will help you protect your identity especially when face surveillance systems are on the rise all over the world.
To use this awesome Signal trick, just select your image and tap on the ‘ iconBlur‘ on. Now, enable the toggle for “Blur facesIf you believe the software is not detecting faces well then you can manually blur faces too.
4. Disappearing Messages
Since Signal is a privacy-oriented messaging service, it has all the essential features you need to have a very private and secure conversation. One of which is Message Disappear, also known as self-destruct messages. Basically, you can set a timer when the message will start disappearing once it is read by the recipient.
For example, if you set a timer for 5 seconds then the messages sent and received in the conversation will disappear 5 seconds after being seen or read. That’s an awesome Signal trick, isn’t it? To use this feature, open a conversation and tap on the 3-dot menu and go to “Disappearing MessagesNow, you just have to set the timer.
5. Block Screenshot
Among the many features of the Signal app, I really like this one. Similar to Snapchat, you can restrict users from taking screenshots of chats or anything inside the app. In fact, you can’t even take a screenshot of the Recent menu which is great. Signal offers this feature so that no information is passed on to other users without your consent. To enable this feature, go to Settings by tapping profile icon and move to “privacy“Here, activate it.”Screen security” and that’s it.
6. Send Viewable Images Only Once
Signal has created this amazing trick from where you can send pictures, but they can only be seen once. After that, the image will disappear from the sender and receiver. To use this trick, just select an image and tap “infinite icon” which is located in the lower left corner and change it to “1xNow, send an image and it will be deleted automatically once the recipient opens it once. This is basically a self-destruct feature but for images.
7. Note to Self
Many are not aware, but there are users who use messaging services like WhatsApp as a note-taking app. They create single member groups to post notes to themselves. However, on Signal, you don’t have to rely on workarounds as it natively offers “Note to Self” which works pretty well.
Only for the first time, you have to tap ‘pen icon‘ in the lower right corner to install it. After that, select “Note to Self” and add whatever you want to take note of. Now in the ward, you can simply open a conversation from the main screen and you can start adding notes. It’s one of Signal trick which is useful for you.
8. Call Relay
This is one of the best Signal tricks for users who want very tight security for private communications. It allows you to send all your calls through Signal server so that your IP address is not detected by your contacts. They will only be able to see Signal’s IP address which protects your identity. However, keep in mind, this will slightly reduce call quality due to network tunneling.
Simply put, if you place privacy above performance then you should use this feature. Just go to the Settings page and move to “privacy“Under the section.”Communication“, activate “Always relay calls“.
9. Incognito Keyboard
Incognito Keyboard is one of the best Signal features and you should use it. If you are concerned that the keyboard is learning and personalizing its services from your typing behavior, then you can ask Signal to enforce Incognito Keyboard.
To enable it, go to the Settings page and navigate to “privacy“Here, activate it.”Incognito keyboard” and now onwards, none of your typing and clipboard data will be recorded by the keyboard while using Signal.
10. Enabling Dark Mode
Signal has a built-in dark mode and you can enable it easily from the Settings page. Move to the “Appearance” menu and tap on “Theme”. Select “Dark” and you’re done.
11. Use Signal anywhere
No matter where you are or which device you are using, Signal is available everywhere. It has dedicated apps for Android, iOS, iPadOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. And the best part is that you will have access to all Signal features across platforms. I recommend downloading Signal on your computer and smartphone for the best experience.
12. Photo Editor
Of course, features’blur face‘ is quite helpful, but Signal already has a pretty decent photo editor. You can add text, highlight parts of the image in different colors, crop the image, add stickers, and much more. There is even an option to save the image in your gallery after you have finished editing the image.
And now that you have the blur tool, you can quickly blur parts of the image (not just limited to faces) like addresses, emails, and phone numbers. So, if you want a quick and easy photo editor then Signal can do a pretty good job, I believe.
So that was how to use Signal app plus 12 best tips and tricks. Since Signal is intended for highly private communications, most of the features are based on strengthening security and privacy.