Review date: 04/23/2020
If you only want video chat with one person, this is probably the most secure app on our list. Signal is made by the nonprofit Signal Technology Foundation. Their amazing mission is to "developing open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication." What does that mean? It means Signal is a free, open source, privacy-focused messaging app with simple phone-to-phone video chat. Unfortunately, their video chat is only available through their Android and iOS apps, not their desktop app. Because Signal is a nonprofit, they aren't pushing ads or tracking and capturing your data to try and make money off you in any way. Nonprofits that embrace open source are the bomb (ahem, Mozilla is also a nonprofit that embraces open source).
What could happen if something goes wrong
Not a whole lot, from what we can tell. Signal's open-source end-to-end encryption is lauded by many security professionals. And Signal won't track you or sell your data to strangers who could use it to target you with weird ads. It's always possible that buddy you're video chatting with could screenshot your chat before you've combed your hair. But hey, that's true for every video call app, so comb your hair before you take that video call!
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
To use Signal, an account has to be created by registering a phone number.
What data does it collect?
How does it use this data?
How are your recordings handled?
Alerts when calls are being recorded?
Video calls can't be recorded within Signal.
Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?
Signal is not HIPAA compliant.
Links to privacy information
Can I control it?
Is it easy to learn and use the features?
Signal's features are simple and easy to use. They also feature an easy to use support page on their website at https://support.signal.org/
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Signal supports end-to-end encryption on video calls with other Signal users.
Users can and should password protect their phone to keep unwanted people from making Signal calls. When making a person-to-person call, passwords aren't required or even needed. Signal also has a screen lock feature that uses your phone's pin, passphrase, or biometric authentication. This feature isn't enabled by default.
Signal updates the app regularly.
Signal doesn't have an official bug bounty program, but the organization does proactively engage outside researchers and closely monitors inbound support requests to quickly address any issues relating to Signal's security.