Instant messaging is today’s go-to means of communication. Being fast and straightforward, it is indispensable in the corporate environment. Employees have become to rely on text messages since it’s often more convenient and efficient to text a colleague or partner rather than calling them on the phone or sending an email. However, many of the used chat apps aren’t suitable for business purposes, don’t meet legal data-privacy requirements, and are used under the radar, as “shadow IT”.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
100 days to go: Companies operating in Europe must comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by May 25, 2018. The new law is a step in the right direction: It strengthens the rights of Internet users, protects their privacy, and punishes offenders. In summary, the following can be said in regard to chat services:
Conventional chat services may only be used for strictly private purposes. As soon as corporate contact data is stored on the phone, it is no longer considered strictly private use.
The use of conventional messengers for business purposes is a plain violation of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation.
Conventional chat services require access to the address book and collect user data. When using such a service, the contact data in the address book is read, processed, and possibly shared. This is not compliant with the new GDPR unless prior consent was given by every person whose contact data is contained in the address book. Affected contacts cannot make use of their “Right to be forgotten” (this right empowers individuals to request the deletion of their personal data). In addition to contact data, conventional chat apps often collect other user data, e.g., the location, information about the mobile network, or other details about the user’s activity within the app.
The situation is quite clear. Conventional messengers are incompatible with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and companies should refrain from using them. Non-compliance with the GDPR can result in heavy fines.
Take this opportunity, and equip your company with a solid business messenger. A messenger that protects the privacy of your employees and partners as well as your corporate data. A messenger that offers efficient administration and user management and allows to strictly separate personal and professional use. In short: Threema Work
Try Threema Work now – free trial
The digital transformation reaches into more and more areas of our lives. Internet, smartphone, and apps have long become indispensable, and all our online activities generate data. Often, this data is systematically collected and analyzed. At first glance, this may seem harmless. However, the more data is collected, the more detailed is the picture that can be drawn of the individual Internet users.
Once the data is acquired, it can be duplicated at will and preserved indefinitely. For what purposes the data can and will be used is uncertain; it might lead to totally unforeseen conclusions about the users that generated it. In order to raise awareness for the dangers of a decline in privacy, the Data Privacy Day was established. This holiday is held annually on January 28.
With Threema, every day is Data Privacy Day, but today the app is 50% off.
The 50% sale ends on Sunday, January 28, at 10 p.m. CET.
As the year draws to a close, iOS users get another Threema update. While version 3.0.5 is primarily focused on bug fixes, this update also packs some small new features. For instance, the length restriction for text messages was removed. Very long messages will be split and sent as multiple separate messages.
For an overview of all improvements and additions, please refer to the change log.
The latest Threema for Android incorporates a host of new emojis. Counting over 2600 different emojis (803 more than before), Threema now covers the full emoji set of Unicode 10.0 and Emoji 5.0.
Fans of the cute chat symbols will be pleased about the various new ways to express themselves. Here are some examples:
On Android and iOS, the same emojis are used. You can be sure that your emojis look exactly the same on the recipient’s end and evoke the intended emotions.
In addition to new emojis, the 3.3 update also includes other improvements, such as the option to automatically download incoming media files. In “Settings > Media & Storage > Automatically download media”, you can specify whether images and voice messages should be downloaded automatically when connected to a certain network type (Wi-Fi or mobile).
To get an overview of all improvements and additions, please refer to the change log.
Threema Work introduces a groundbreaking innovation: Threema MDM. With this unique administration tool, the Threema Work app can be remotely configured from the management cockpit. This way, you can be sure that the app is set up correctly on the users’ mobile devices. Another highlight of the new management cockpit is the dashboard, which provides detailed insight into the usage of Threema Work.
App configuration with Threema MDM
Until now, the remote configuration of Threema Work required MDM software. Thanks to Threema MDM, every Threema Work administrator is now able to remotely set up the app for the users. For example, you can enable or disable contact synchronization with a single click. And if you define all profile settings in Threema MDM, your users are relieved from completing the initial setup process.
There’s even more to Threema MDM. You can selectively restrict the use of the app. For instance, disable voice calls, or limit the communication to internal contacts (closed user group).
Stay informed with the new dashboard
The management cockpit’s new dashboard keeps you up to date about the usage of your licenses. At a glance, you see, for example, how many users are active and on which operating systems the app is installed. Of course, your employees’ privacy is fully protected. The evaluated data is completely anonymized, and no personally identifiable information is collected.
See for yourself: Test Threema Work now
A new Threema version for Windows Phone is ready for download. In addition to various under-the-hood improvements, the 2.1.0 update introduces some new features. For example, you can now hide inactive contacts, search the chat overview and the contact list, and set a password for ID revocation.
To learn more, please refer to the change log.
iPhone X owners will be pleased with today’s Threema update as it introduces support for their shiny new device. The 3.0.2 update also improves compatibility with iOS 11, and Threema now keeps in account the iOS Dynamic Type setting.
The update includes several other improvements. An overview of all changes and additions can be found in the change log.
Threema Work extends the functionality and convenience of the app with an important feature for security- and privacy-conscious businesses and organizations: tap-proof voice calls.
Threema calls are captivating with brilliant voice quality. Of course, calls are also end-to-end encrypted and meet the highest security requirements. With Threema Work, making phone calls is now just as secure and trustworthy as with regular Threema messages.
Neither a SIM card nor a phone number is required to use Threema calls. This allows you to make voice calls even on tablets or iPads.
Threema calls are extremely easy to use and free for anybody using WLAN or a flat rate mobile plan. This makes Threema Work especially attractive for secure internal voice communication – even across country borders.
Threema calls are available starting with Threema Work 3.0.1 (iOS) and 3.21k (Android).
To learn more, please refer to this page.
A new Threema version for Android is ready for download. While the 3.21 update is primarily focused on under-the-hood improvements, it also includes a new feature that might come in handy.
If you ever wanted to create a reminder for unresolved issues in a conversation, you can now do so with visual markers. In the chat overview, simply swipe right on a chat to mark it, and the chat will be labeled with a yellow stripe.
In addition to the ability to mark chats, the update introduces a range of further improvements. For more detailed information, please refer to the change log.
The latest Threema version for iOS addresses some bugs and includes small improvements in regard to Threema calls.
To learn more, please refer to the changelog.
Threema calls are here! Threema for Android and Threema for iOS now allow you to make end-to-end encrypted calls in brilliant voice quality – without disclosing your phone number.
Tap-proof and as privacy-friendly as it gets
Just like Threema messages, Threema calls are end-to-end encrypted and thus tap-proof. In contrast to conventional messengers, Threema doesn’t use a phone number as unique identifier. Instead, a randomly generated Threema ID serves this purpose, which means that no personally identifiable information is contained in metadata. Furthermore, it’s possible to make calls without disclosing one’s phone number to the called party.
The call connection is established using Threema messages in the background. Therefore, voice calls are just as trustworthy as chats, and the same verification levels apply. If possible, a direct connection between caller and callee is established (peer to peer), which improves the call quality considerably. Because a constant bit rate is used for audio encoding, no conclusions about the content can be drawn from the size of the transmitted data packets.
High stability thanks to public beta test
Several thousand enthusiastic Threema users have participated in the beta program. Due to the high demand as well as limitations by Apple, the quota of beta testers for the iOS app was reached within a few hours. The bug reports we received have enabled us to identify and eliminate minor bugs. Thanks to the extensive testing, Threema calls have gained high stability and reliability. We would like to thank everyone who helped testing Threema calls!
Learn more about Threema calls
A new Threema version for Windows Phone has arrived. While the 2.0.0 update is primarily focused on bug fixes, there is now a convenient way to free up disk space.
Navigate to Settings > Media+Storage to delete all messages of a given time frame. To only delete old messages of a certain chat, select “delete messages” in the chat’s menu.
For all the details, please refer to the change log.
Just after Threema calls have entered the beta stage, Threema for iOS receives its next update. With version 2.10.2, iOS users get the following handy features:
Quick media-file selection
Using quick media-file selection, you send images and videos in a heartbeat: Just tap the plus symbol in a chat, and you’re presented with the latest 100 images in your camera roll. To play a video, simply tap and hold its thumbnail.
To disable quick media-file selection, navigate to “Settings > Appearance”, and toggle “Show gallery preview”.
Mark chats as unread
Chats can now be marked as unread. This is useful, for example, to create a reminder if there are still unresolved issues in a conversation. In the chat overview, swipe right on a chat to mark it as unread, and the chat will be labeled with a red dot.
Using the same swipe gesture, unread messages can be marked as read without opening a chat.
It’s now possible to clone groups in Threema for iOS: In the contact list, tap the “Groups” tab, select the desired group, and tap “Clone group” at the end of the member list. This creates a new group consisting of the same members as the original one. As its creator, you are the new group’s administrator (no matter who the original group’s administrator is).
This update also includes some other additions and improvements. For all the details, please refer to the change log.
End-to-end encrypted voice calls are about to arrive in Threema. Soon, you will be able to make phone calls that are just as secure as Threema messages. To ensure the highest possible reliability on the feature’s official launch, Threema phone calls enter a public beta test first (Android and iOS).
If you would like to test Threema phone calls and report the bugs you encounter, please participate in the beta program.
Threema calls offer excellent voice quality, and the new functionality was implemented with utmost focus on security and data restraint:
- As unique identifier, the anonymous Threema ID is used instead of a phone number; thus, less exploitable metadata is generated
- Threema calls are end-to-end encrypted and are therefore tap-proof; the keys are generated on the user devices and never leave these devices
- Since the connection is established using Threema messages in the background, voice calls are just as trustworthy as chats; the same verification levels apply
- If possible, a direct connection between caller and callee is established (peer to peer)
- Because a constant bit rate is used for audio encoding, no conclusions can be drawn from the size of data packets to the content
- The voice-call functionality is based on open standards
Of course, voice calls can be completely disabled in the app. More details will be provided when the feature is officially released.
The question whether Threema can be used without access to the address book has been coming up a lot lately. The answer is “Yes”, of course.
According to Germany’s Right to Informational Self-Determination (“Recht auf informationelle Selbstbestimmung”), it is up to each individual to decide about the use and the disclosure of their personal data. Thus, if a messenger requires access to the address book, a potential user is confronted with two choices:
- to ask all address-book contacts for permission to share their contact details with the messenger operator
- to not use the messenger
Threema: No access to contact details required
Unlike ordinary messengers, Threema doesn’t use the phone number to uniquely identify users. Instead, the Threema ID serves this purpose. The Threema ID is a randomly generated string; no conclusions about the user’s identity can be drawn from it. And since linking a phone number or email address to a Threema ID is optional, Threema can be used completely anonymously.
In Threema, users enable or disable contact synchronization at their own discretion. (Detailed information about contact synchronization can be found here.) It’s not necessary to grant Threema access to the address book. If no access is granted, contacts can be added manually by entering their Threema IDs or by scanning the respective QR codes.
As far as chat apps are concerned, there is a lot more to privacy protection than mere message encryption. Find out how common messengers hold up against Threema’s strict privacy standards in this comparison.