Signal is an encrypted messaging app much like WhatsApp that has seen a surge of interest in recent days following protests over the killing of George Floyd.
The app has actually been around since 2015, but has always been overshadowed by the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Itâ€™s available on both Android and iOS phones as well as desktop and comes recommended by privacy and security activists (such as Edward Snowden) because of the level of security it offers.
Signal lets you send texts, make calls, transfer files and documents and share your location all under end-to-end encryption. Meaning nobody, not even Signal itself, can record whatâ€™s being said.
Unlike Facebook Messenger, for example, Signal doesnâ€™t collect any information about its users that could be used for advertising. It also doesnâ€™t allow governments or law enforcement access to your messages.
How does Signal work?
Signal is free, but you need to verify your phone number in order to use it. Similar to WhatsApp, users need to input a code sent to their phones to activate their account.
Once itâ€™s activated, the account requires a 4-digit PIN code to make it even more secure.
The app has a number of unique features geared around security that show why itâ€™s become so popular with protesters around the world.
Itâ€™s possible to set individual conversations to delete themselves over time.
This week, in response to the protests, Signal announced it was launching a new tool that blurs faces during a video call.
The in-app AI applies the blur automatically to any faces it detects with the entire process happening on the phone rather than company servers.
â€˜We believe that something in America needs to change, and even if we donâ€™t know exactly how, we support and trust in the people who are self-organizing around the country to figure it out,â€™ wrote Signalâ€™s co-founder Moxie Marlinspike.
â€˜One immediate thing seems clear: 2020 is a pretty good year to cover your face.â€™