Now you can make your Facebook messages 'secret'

By Kirstin Buick
06 October 2016

Change this setting right away.

Remember when WhatsApp "encrypted" their messages?

Now WhatsApp's parent company is allowing its 900 million users to do the same.

Facebook has just introduced a featured called “Secret Conversations” to its messaging app.

The feature is said to be very similar to WhatsApp's in that it adds an encryption layer to messages, so nobody but the sender and recipient can read the message – "not even Facebook or law enforcement or intelligence agencies," WIRED's Andy Greenberg writes.

According to a description in the latest version of the Facebook Messenger app: "Your messages are already secure, but Secret Conversations are encrypted from one device to another."

Sounds great, right? Here's how to make sure you have the Secret Messages setting activated:

Check your smartphone's app store to see if you have an update for Facebook Messenger available. Download it.

Once you have the latest version, tap on "Me" (the little silhouette of a person on the bottom right on iOS – i.e. iPhone – and top right on Android devices).

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Select "Secret Conversations".

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You'll get a explanation, as seen below on iOS. Tap OK.

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Swipe to turn on! Some devices will have the setting activated by default.

turn on

And voila! Now to have a secret conversation, all you have to do is tap "Secret" on the top right when typing a new message.

Note: This will only work if your friend has followed the steps above too!

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According to Facebook's FAQ, secret conversations are currently ONLY available in the Messenger app on iOS and Android, so they won't appear on Facebook chat or messenger.com on your desktop computer.

It's also worth noting that while the new encryption tech means only you and whoever you're messaging has access to the messages, you should still be careful about what you share on social media.

As the good folks at Facebook point out, "Keep in mind that the person you're messaging could choose to share the conversation with others."

Do you have any tech questions you want answered? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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