How to encrypt your Facebook Messages

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How to encrypt your Facebook Messages

All 1 billion Facebook Messenger users can now encrypt their messages so that governments, hackers, and even Facebook itself can’t read them. Facebook announced its “Secret” messages feature back in July. Now it’s fully rolled out, but still a bit tricky to use. Messenger threads aren’t Secret by default, so here’s a step-by-step guide for how to turn on encryption.

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1. Open Facebook Messenger to the home screen

Facebook will show you some details about how Secret messages work.

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2. Tap the "Compose Message" button in the top right

This will take you to the New Message screen.

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3. Tap the “Secret” button in the top right

Secret messages are different than normal ones. They can’t use features like location, payments or third-party apps, but you’ll still be able to include photos and stickers.

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4. Select a friend you want to have an encrypted conversation with

Secret message someone if you have something sensitive or private to talk with them about, like a business or some personally identifiable information such as your credit card number.

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5. Set your phone as your Default Device for Secret messages

Secret Conversations can only be received on one device rather than showing up on all of them like normal Facebook Messages. Select your phone as your default device, not your tablet or another less accessible device.

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6. Send any message and it will be end-to-end encrypted

Only you and the recipient can see your message. Facebook doesn’t read people’s messages in the first place, but can’t read these encrypted messages if it wanted to. Nor can they be subpoenaed by law enforcement.

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7. Set the timer on a message to make it self-destruct

You can set Secret messages to self-destruct anywhere from 5 seconds to 1 day after they’re read.

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8. Send your disappearing message

Your secret is safe.

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