Is Telegram safe?

Tips & tricks
3 mins
Telegram chat message

Telegram’s safety and privacy levels depend on how you use it. Some functionalities and settings provide greater assurances that your messages and activity remain accessible only to you and the person you are chatting with.

Jump to…
What is Telegram?
Is Telegram encrypted?
Are there any security concerns with Telegram?
How safe is Telegram?
Alternatives to Telegram

What is Telegram?

Telegram Messenger is a popular chat app. Although Telegram has been around since 2013, it started gaining notoriety in 2019-2020 as a tool used by protestors to organize large groups of people. This was primarily due to the group chat function—a Telegram group can contain up to 200,000 members. It also offers “channels,” a feed with which organizers can post updates. And users can achieve greater anonymity by keeping their phone number hidden.

Its usage by protesters bolstered Telegram’s reputation as a safe and secure messaging service. But there are nuances to its safety and security—read on.

Is Telegram encrypted?

Yes, every chat and call on Telegram is encrypted. Telegram offers end-to-end encryption for one-to-one calls, plus messages if you select the Secret Chats option. Secret Chat messages also can’t be forwarded, and there’s a self-destruct timer you can switch on, with intervals ranging from one second to one week.

However, end-to-end encryption is not used on all other types of chats, group calls, live streams, groups, and channels. Instead, they use secure client-server encryption. Telegram states that everything stored on their servers is encrypted, and the keys protecting that data are split apart and never kept with the data they protect.

Encryption is critical to ensuring private data remains private. While end-to-end encryption is the gold standard, client-server encryption also helps protect your messages by ensuring they cannot be deciphered when intercepted by your internet service provider, owners of Wi-Fi routers you connect to, or other third parties.

Are there any security concerns with Telegram?

Here are security aspects to be aware of if you’re using Telegram:

  • Telegram stores user data on its servers, including usernames, IP addresses, and device information. According to their privacy policy, Telegram would only share this data with authorities if they received a court order relating to terrorist activities. However, this data could be at risk of a breach (of which there have already been several, with user data ending up on the dark web).
  • Telegram’s People Nearby feature allows you to see Telegram users near you, not just your own contacts but any Telegram users with the feature switched on. People Nearby has been demonstrated to show precise location data to hackers, so we recommend ensuring this feature is off.
  • Telegram is considered open-source, but only the client-side code is open-source—its server-side code is not. Telegram uses its own protocol, MTProto, to encrypt your messages, and they have yet to reveal the coding behind it. It’s best to use standard, well-reviewed cryptography libraries rather than creating your own, which is more likely to have big security flaws.

So, how safe is Telegram?

Telegram is safe, especially if you use it with the more stringent privacy settings. For maximum security while using Telegram, take the following measures:

  1. Always use Secret Chats to ensure messages are end-to-end encrypted
  2. Turn off the People Nearby feature to protect your location
  3. Use a VPN to shield your IP address

Alternatives to Telegram


Signal is one of the best messaging apps for secure communication. By default, Signal provides end-to-end encryption with its own protocol for all voice calls, video calls, and instant messages. Its technology is open source, and it protects metadata. It also only records data provided by users to set up their accounts, which can be only a phone number.


The combination of end-to-end encryption for all message types and wide usage means that WhatsApp is one of the easiest and best options for secure messaging. The main concern for most users is that WhatsApp is owned by Meta—a company not known for prioritizing the privacy of its users. While Meta cannot read your WhatsApp messages, it still collects usage data.

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