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Signal Introduces the Ability To Show a Username Instead of a Phone Number

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

For years, cybersecurity experts and privacy champions have lauded Signal for its robust end-to-end encryption, positioning it as the apex of secure digital communication. Yet, ironically, this sanctuary of privacy required users to disclose a crucial piece of personal information – their phone number – to anyone they contacted. This paradox has now been addressed.

Signal has recently initiated the beta phase of a new feature, allowing users to remove their phone number from public view and use username instead.

Sign up for the beta here.

This shift empowers users to maintain their privacy by opting for a username. This is especially pertinent for those who use Signal in sensitive situations and regard their phone number as highly confidential information and conversations that people want to keep private.

Signal’s latest update introduces three major changes. Firstly, by default, phone numbers are now concealed in user profiles and visible only to contacts who already have them saved.

Secondly, users can create and share a unique username or QR code. This username appears in conversations instead of the chosen profile name, which remains non-unique and can be altered by the interacting party.

Thirdly, an additional feature, particularly recommended for high-risk users, allows for complete concealment of the phone number. This feature ensures that a user’s Signal presence is untraceable via their phone number, requiring the username for any connection.

There is still one downside though. For now, despite these advancements, for anti-spam reasons Signal still requires a phone number for registration, something that will displease those seeking absolute anonymity.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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