Wickr is an American software company best known for its instant messenger app, Wickr, which lets its users exchange content-expiring messages like that of Snapchat whether it is photos, videos and file attachments.
Meet Wickr Messenger and Wickr Pro
Founded in 2012, Wickr has grown over the years with apps such as Wickr Messenger and Wickr Pro.
Wickr Messenger, initially an iOS app, but later unveiled on Android, lets users set expiration times for their encrypted messages, and it also has a desktop version of its secure platform. It was released together with the ability to sync messages across many devices.
Wickr Pro is a secure collaboration platform created for teams and enterprises that lets them launch private networks in minutes and immediately, they can start communicating internally, and join with third parties.
Users can message one on one, create secure rooms, set expiration times for messages that last from as low as one second to about five days, and send encrypted files (max 5GB), plus make secure conference calls.
Wickr Pro features and benefits
The chief point of difference that sets Wickr apart from other apps is its security. Its founder insist that it is the closest thing to a private platform and no information is saved to a server, plus there’s no data on its users.
Its growth was experienced after it was discovered that the personal information of over 4.6 million Snapchatters had been stolen from the cloud.
All its messages and transactions are tightly secured what with the AES 256 military grade encryption, which makes it perfect for anyone looking for the highest levels of privacy, whether you’re in politics, business, or just for your personal reasons.
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The benefits of using Wickr obviously include data security as they’re always protected with multilayered P2P security. You also own your conversations as Wickr doesn’t collect or access your data, plus they don’t monetize your trust.
You’re always in control of your privacy, and you get to stay connected across all platforms and devices, anytime and anywhere you go.
On Wickr, every message, file and call is encrypted with a new random key, and breaking just one would take eons to decipher. Even in the event of a breach, the servers have no user communications as they cannot be deciphered while in transit, and deleted on delivery.
Wickr also gives users key verification (produced using ECDHE) so you get to exchange keys with your contact, and you can verify the identity of that person using the keys. Business owners also enjoy the advantage of controlling their networks and centrally manage user security policies.
Calling on Wickr is end-to-end encrypted and protected with forward security whether it is a one on one or conference call.
Wickr pros and cons
- Users can find each other securely
Instead of having to use emails, phone numbers or usernames to search for and find other users, Wickr software uses hashes from the phone numbers or email addresses, but only for finding friends.
Hashes are derived from one-way cryptography which means it is difficult to reconstruct the original phone numbers and emails from them.
Wickr’s hashes are generated from the client user’s end such that there’s no personal information sent to Wickr servers. The app locates the users on your contact list who are also on Wickr by comparing hashes generated from them to those stored on Wickr servers.
- User-defined lifespan on messages
As mentioned earlier, the messages or pieces of communication on Wickr have a lifespan of as little as a second or three, up to six days, and these arrive locked.
Once the message recipient opens it, a timer will count down until the message gets deleted, but the recipient still has the leeway to copy or screenshot for record purposes.
- Wickr has a content shredder that erases all messages, and overwrites these messages with junk data.
- Screenshot taking isn’t enabled by default.
This feature is disabled when the app is open, but users with rooted phones and installed apps that override this block can work their way around this, or even take the screenshot via their computer when the screen is projected.
- Group messaging and basic photo editor
- Doesn’t need a phone number to register, you can add contacts via email alone or phone number
- As much as the company says they have more than one million users who have downloaded the app, there’s no solid information about the active users, but one million still is a small user base if you compare it with other apps like WhatsApp.
Wickr has four product plans available. You can use this collaboration platform for free as an individual user or a small team. Alternatively, the premium plan gives you access to all the features and options available on the platform.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been since updated to reflect the changes and improvements available in Windows 10.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2018 and was revamped and updated in October 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.