Shifting to Telegram? Here Are 5 Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

2021-01-11 09:21:40

Telegram is adding new users in huge numbers following the public backlash against Facebook’s new privacy policy and terms of service update on WhatsApp. Users have to accept the updated terms of service and privacy policies or they will lose their access to the app by February 8, 2021. This move by Facebook caused an uproar with reports claiming that it makes data sharing with Facebook mandatory.  

If you have already made the switch and have started using Telegram, here are a few tips and tricks on Telegram to enhances your messaging experience.

1) Enable Secret Chat

Chats on Telegram are user-to-server encrypted, unlike WhatsApp or Signal, which are encrypted user-to-user. However, you can opt-in to something called Secret Chat on Telegram, to bring full end-to-end encryption of chats. Secret Chats are designed to be temporary and do not get saved on Telegram’s servers.

Once the Secret Chat feature is enabled, you also have the option the self-destruct your chats by setting a timer varying from one second to one week. This means that you can make your Telegram secret chats as short-lived as you need.

Forwarding texts or screenshotting and screen recording of messages on a Secret Chat is also blocked by Telegram. As of now, Secret Chat is limited to only one-on-one conversion, and does not work for groups.

To start a secret chat, select the contact with whom you want to start a secret chat and open the chat box. Tap on the top bar of the user’s information > Tap the three-button drop down menu on the top right corner > Select Start Secret Chat option. A pop-up will confirm if you want to a secret chat. Tap Start. This will invite your contact to join the secret chat.

secret chat screenshot telegram

To start a secret chat, select the contact with whom you want to start a secret chat and open chat box
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Telegram

2) Stop being added to any group

Telegram gives you control over who can add you to groups, so no one can add you to a group without your permission. To enable this feature, open Settings > Privacy and Security > Groups > My Contacts > Never Allow.

groups telegram groups

No one can add you to a group without your permission
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Telegram

3) Broadcast messages using a Channel

You can broadcast public messages to large groups of people using Channels. Unlike Groups, Channels don’t have a limit on the number of people who can be added. The messages being sent on the Channel goes in the Channel’s name rather than the individual’s name. To make sure that important messages do not go unread, you can pin those texts inside a Channel. In order to pin a message, tap on it and tap on Pin. This will ensure that the message stays on the top of the Channel before the reader removes them.  
4)  Delete messages by the Sender

In Telegram, you can delete messages sent by the other users too. Although this sounds quite unusual, this is for users who prioritise privacy. To delete a received message, select the message from the sender > tap on the delete button > Also delete for XYZ > tap on Delete. This will make sure that the messages by the sender is removed from their device too. 

sender delete screenshot telegram sender chat

Although this sounds quite unusual, this is for users who prioritise privacy
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Telegram

5) Lock your chats

Along with end-to-end encryption, Telegram also allows its users to lock their chats. To enable the passcode lock feature on your Telegram account, go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Passcode Lock, and toggle it on.  Once the passcode lock feature is enabled, you can lock and unlock your chats by tapping on the lock icon on the top right of your Telegram app. 

passcode lock telegram passcode

You can lock and unlock your chats by tapping on the lock icon on the top right of your Telegram app

What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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