When it comes to messaging apps, one of the major requirements these days, is encrypted conversations. After the rather shocking and rather embarrassing data leak that facebook suffered a few years back, users have become a lot more concerned and aware about the importance of privacy online, which has, in turn, led to popular messaging apps introducing end to end encryption in order to retain their user base.
Popular apps like Whatsapp and Signal have now taken a steep lead in the online messaging app race, but one of the rather underdog apps out there is Telegram. Yes, this app has been in the market for a while now, but its popularity has only just started to soar. Telegram does offer a level of security and protection to its users. However, while end-to-end encryption is offered by default for every chat on WhatsApp and Signal, it is only provided for secret chats on Telegram. Telegram’s secret chat option can also only be held between two people and group chats are excluded.
Normal and group chats in Telegram rely on a standard encrypted cloud storage system based on server-client encryption – called MTProto encryption. However, when content is stored in the Cloud, it can be accessible across devices and this can be seen as a potential security risk for the data.
Now, with the basic introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at how you can download and set up the Telegram application on your smartphone.
We will be performing the tutorial on an iOS device, but the procedure remains more or less the same, so Android users can follow along as well.
Table of Contents
Downloading and Installing the Telegram Application
This is by far the easiest step in the process, but let’s take a look at it to step by step.
Step 1. Open the App Store on your iPhone. (In the case of Android phones, this will be the Play Store).
Step 2. In the search bar, type in Telegram Messenger.
Step 3. Tap on the Telegram app from the search results.
Step 4. On the application page, tap on the ‘Get’ button, and the download will begin.
Once the application has been downloaded, the Telegram application will also be installed on your device.
Setting up the Telegram Application
Once the Telegram application has been installed on your smartphone, here’s how you can set it up and get started.
Step 1. Open the Telegram application on your iOS or Android smartphone.
Step 2. On the opening screen, tap on the ‘Start Messaging’ option.
Step 3. Enter the mobile number into the entry field Make sure you choose the correct country code.
Step 4. Once you enter the mobile number, tap on the ‘Next’ option.
Step 5. Enter the secret code that you receive via an SMS to your registered mobile number.
You can now allow Telegram to access your contacts if you are planning to use this as your primary messenger, and that actually concludes the setup process. You can now start messaging your friends, but if you want to use the end-to-end encryption feature, you will have to use the secret chat feature. We will cover more about that in the next tutorial. Stay tuned.