Signal now allows people to keep phone numbers private and choose usernames instead

If you're a Signal instant messaging platform user you'll be pleased to learn that usernames are in and phone numbers are out, improving privacy.

1 minute & 5 seconds read time

Signal has long been one of the more popular secure instant messaging platforms and it's the one that has also required that people use a phone number by way of identification. That also meant that people needed to share their number if they wanted to connect with anyone on the platform which is less than ideal. But now, that's all changing.

Signal has now confirmed via a blog post that it is going to start hiding phone numbers as default, making it easier than ever for people to protect their privacy. In its place will be a username, and that's also how people will be able to identify people in the future. The username isn't a permanent handle however, with Signal saying that it is simply a way to initiate contact on the network without sharing a phone number.

Signal now allows people to keep phone numbers private and choose usernames instead 02

The announcement also comes as Signal confirms that it is launching a new, optional privacy setting that will allow people to stop themselves from being searchable using a phone number at all. The result is that unless someone knows an exact username, they won't be able to contact people who don't want to be.

Signal adds that all of this is optional and while the default is now to hide phone numbers, that can also be changed if the user requires. Finally, all of this is rolling out as part of a beta right now but it will be made available to everyone within the coming weeks. If you don't see any changes just yet, hang fire - Signal will get to your account eventually.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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