Secure your video call to keep COVID away

Wearing a mask, constantly washing hands all the time, and social distancing. If someone talked of these topics in the year 2019, they would think that person has OCD or is really sick. Fast forward to the present time and whoever is not doing it will be immediately caught on the radar. Another topic that begins to gain normality amid the pandemic is “Sex phone” or to be specific is “Sex video call”, not only it is sexy but it may potentially save your life. The pandemic has made everyone practicing social distancing and many couples have resort to video calling to cure their loneliness and increase the intimacy feeling. But sometimes you wonder, “Is this safe?” “is someone spying on us?” or “will this be on the internet?”. Well, let’s take a look at what application is safe for use and what function do we need to enable to have a safer call.
 I believe that a lot of people who do video calls for sex phones would do it through their smartphone since it is easier to change position and go to some “parts” easier and I also believe that most of you guys use your pc or laptop for mostly zoom call. So, for this article, I will advise you only on the mobile application.

First thing first, could you really trust your partner? Have you been dating long enough? Have you ever met him before? Is he impersonating someone? Is he using someone else’s photos? Is he recording the call? Most of the time our video calls are compromised by the very person who we are calling, not by someone hacking to see the calls, which is considerably harder to do.


2. Dive in your application setting, in privacy. Which privacy issue you think has too much authority you could just disable it, especially the ones that say “Share data to enable better experience”, usually the application would use it for sharing our data to advertising or data company to use it for targeting ad. Next are people who could add us, we should set permission to add us before being on the friend list since someone could impersonate to be someone that we know of. Later we go to our operating system setting and look at the permission that the system allows for each app like location, pictures, camera, microphone (these 2 needs to open to make the call, otherwise you could not do it.) if you are okay with these settings then let’s move on.

3. Setting a password for anything that you can. Because sometimes others may access your app unwillingly and that could compromise your security so better be safe than sorry.

4. You’ve gone this far, but still, there is something very simple that could compromise your privacy which is your own face. By just hiding your face under a mask or completely off the camera view would prevent anyone who gets the hand of your video to identify with you. Another issue is the background. There are some internet detectives that could guess where you are just by the things in your room. If you have a Netflix subscription, you need to watch “Don’t F&*k with the cats” which is a movie like the documentary that chase after a psycho on the internet that murdered a cat. The internet “detectives” followed the killer internet trail and could be able to pinpoint the location of the killer simply by looking at the vacuum that killer used, which indicates that it came from Canada and was bought during a period of time. So keep that in mind that other people may be able to easily pinpoint your location from just the things around you, so clear your background and wear a mask, to be precautious.

5. At this point is where we could not do more than what we already have done and it is up to the operating system and application that we are using, so let see which has the best privacy policy.
1. Signal – The hottest app that has privacy as their top priority, even Elon Musk and the European Commission recommended it. The application hides your metadata (Metadata is the information that explains that data, for example, the metadata of a photo includes the time of a photo that was shot, what phone model is being taken by and the geotag location of the photo but metadata does not limit only in photos. Any kind of data could have metadata) with the edition of End-to-End Encryption meaning that it encrypts your messages, voice, calls, video call to only the recipient the sender that could see this information. A man in the middle attack won’t be possible with this kind of policy since the key to unlock the encryption will only be stored at the recipient and sender phone. Furthermore, the application is open-source and a non-profit organization, which could put you at ease about the company from monetarizing your personal data. 
2. LINE – It is the most used chat application in Thailand. It is safe because LINE is using End-to-End Encryption and called it “Letter Sealing”. This feature is enabled by default, but if you want to be really sure about it, you could go to your chat recipient and on the right-left corner of the screen, you will see 3 dashes and when you enter go to the very bottom of the screen. If it said, “This chat is protected with Letter Sealing” that means that your chat is already encrypted. However, if it does not say that then you need to go to setting, then privacy and go to Letter Sealing option and toggle it to enable it. I recommend that you leave it like that because other than video calling, your messages, locations, and pictures should be protected too.
3. Facetime – Privacy is apple's main advertising campaign in the past few years, and they are not joking about it. One time, an FBI investigation requested apple to break the passcode of a terrorist iPhone 5C and Apple refused to do so, making big headlines everywhere. In the facetime application, they use End-to-End Encryption that only you and the recipient could see. Other than that, apple focus mainly on selling the customer hardware and services, not targeted ads like Facebook or Google so they are not interested in your personal data.
4. WhatsApp – This might be a familiar app, depending on the country you’re in. The application has End-to-End Encryption and uses Open Whisper Signal Protocol that was hailed by a security expert to be one of the best encryption there is. But lately, Facebook has been encroaching into WhatsApp territory and beginning to launch a policy that will share some personal data on WhatsApp to Facebook for target advertising.
5. Telegram – It is “the app” to fight an oppressive regime around the world since someone heard that it “has” better security than other applications. Now let see how it really is. First of all, it has an End-to-End Encryption feature but not as a default. It could only be activated by enabling “the Secret Chats” mode only. And even so, the protocol that they are using “MTProto Protocol” is still being questioned by data security experts. When using the application without enabling the “Secret Chat” feature, your message is encrypted only on the transport level. And the encryption key isn’t stored in your devices but rather on a telegram server instead, which is a big vulnerability for a man in the middle attack.
 6. Facebook Messenger – Even though Facebook has been heavily scrutinized by the “Cambridge Analytica scandal” but they said that they are beefing up their data privacy policy and making some changes to how personal data is being treated. One noticeable feature added into the messenger application is the “Secret Conversations” that is similar to telegram but they use Open Whisper Systems Signal Protocol like on WhatsApp which is really secure. However, you need to enable the “Secret Conversations” feature first before being secure.
7. Instagram – One of the “add on” features that really took off on Instagram is the “direct message” that enables you to chat with other people on Instagram. Recently, they added a video call feature into the mix too. But don’t get too carried away because Instagram does not have End-to-End Encryption and encrypt your messages and video calls only on the transport level. And they don’t have any plans to add that feature anytime soon too, so I really don’t recommend having video calls through Instagram.
8. Zoom – One of the most important meeting apps in this pandemic, almost every school, company, or organization uses it. But there is a catch the ease of use, no requirement to install on your PC comes with a price. There is a thing called “Zoom bombing” where an anonymous caller guesses a meeting ID and interrupt the meeting or snoop on the meeting making it one of the big security threat for important calls. Another issue is that Zoom does not enable End-to-End encryption by default making your messages, video calls or other things you shared may be compromised. However, there is a way to enable it, by logging in to your zoom account on a browser (you could not enable this feature on the application on your phone or on your desktop application). Once you’re logged ingot to the Setting > Meeting tab and under the Security tab go to a topic that says “Allow use of end-to-end encryption” after we toggle the button an OTP will be sent to the phone number we entered. You will need to verify this then your messages and calls will be encrypted, you need to do the same thing for your partner too to be sure that your video calls won’t be attacked. Phew, that’s quite a few steps to ensure our calls.
 You’ve read this far and probably you became an expert in chat applications, but this is for your data privacy safety.

by Kasintorn Honglawan

Picture from: