May 1, 2022
7 min read

How Self Destructing Messaging Works?

Self-destructing messaging, also called ephemeral messaging, is a disappearing messaging system where messages are erased after seconds when read.

Povilas M.
Security Expert
Data and message privacy are essential nowadays. However, even though all users value privacy and security, not nearly enough take the necessary steps to ensure it. Most tools needed for excellent or improved data protection are right before them. In this article, we'd like to discuss self-deleting texts and the benefits of such a solution.

What are self-deleting texts? A comprehensive overview

Self-deleting texts are a great way to keep your messages private and secure. When you send a self-deleting text, the message is automatically deleted after a specific time, ensuring that only the intended recipient can read it.
Many different apps and programs offer self-deleting text messages. However, the most popular you can probably think of is Snapchat. The social media giant Snapchat was created as a way to share photos and videos that would automatically delete after a set amount of time (10 seconds).
Since its creation, Snapchat has expanded to include many other features, such as chat, stories, and filters. However, self-deleting texts are still one of the app's most popular features. Nevertheless, since the launch of Snapchat, other major social media networks have also launched their versions of self-deleting messages, like secret chats that go away after they're closed, one-time messages, etc.
The key thing to understand here is whether the message is deleted entirely or whether its remnants are still somewhere to be found. The most secure way to ensure that message deletion works is to either implement a system-wide script to delete them once devices connect to them or establish a P2P connection directly between users to avoid any data or metadata storage elsewhere.
In a client-server architecture, your data flows past an intermediary server. If it's encrypted, then it's not too much to worry about. But regardless, P2P networks are still a lot safer and improve the security of self-deletion features.

What are the benefits of self-deleting texts?

There are many benefits to using self-deleting texts. If it's a feature available on your messenger, you should consider enabling it for some of the more confidential communications. If there isn't such a feature, we strongly suggest switching to Kraden or other apps that allow this. Here are just a few of the benefits of self-deleting texts:

1) Increased privacy and security

As we've mentioned, self-deleting texts are a great way to keep your messages private and secure. When you send a self-deleting text, the message is automatically deleted after a specific time, ensuring that only the intended recipient can read it. So, if your device is taken, the message may not be there, so others won't know what is being said.
Furthermore, even if the service is hacked or breached, their servers might not have the data on the messages if they don't store it.

2) Protection from data breaches

Another great benefit of self-deleting texts is that they can help you avoid damage from data breaches. If your messages are stored on a server, they risk being hacked. However, if you're using a self-deleting text service that indeed wipes all of the data and metadata, your messages will be deleted before hackers have a chance to get to them. We touched on this in the previous point, but this is an entirely different story. Even in the case of an unlikely hacking, information remains private.

3) Private communications remain truly private

If you're the type of person who takes their security and privacy seriously, self-deleting texts are an excellent option for digital communications. With most self-deleting text services, there's no need to worry about the recipient being unable to read your message immediately. The message will self-destruct after some time, so you can be confident that your comms are genuinely private.

What happens to old messages that aren't deleted, and what are their risks?

We're continuously referring to servers and databases that service providers and businesses use to store your data, including messages. If they aren't self-deleting, they're held in one way or another. If it's encrypted storage, for example, AES-256 encryption, it's pretty much harmless as proper ciphering with this protocol is almost unbreakable. But, many service providers still store your data, at least for 12-36 months, before even considering some action.
There are a few things that can happen to old data, and each has risks. The most common is that it's deleted after a while, and the chances here are minimal. If it's a self-deleting text service that doesn't store your messages on their servers, then there's usually almost no way that hackers can get to it. The easiest path they can break in is with brute force or from within. The messages will likely be long gone even if the service is hacked.
The other possibility is that the data is constantly archived, which means it's stored somewhere but not necessarily in an easily accessible way. Storage can be protected servers or encrypted drives. The risks here are that the data could be accessed by someone who shouldn't have access to it. Once again, actions come from within the organization or from sophisticated, high-level hackers. However, if you're using a self-deleting text service that archives your messages, they should be encrypted and secure or already wiped from storage.
The last possibility is that the data is sold to a third party. This is the riskiest option, but some companies disclose that they might or will do that. We always advise against trusting such services, especially when it concerns your identification or sensitive data, but if you do opt to trust such a service, make sure it has the best reputation possible.

How Kraden manages self-deleting messages and protects its users' privacy

Regarding protecting data privacy, Kraden messenger is ahead of the curve, leading the way with enterprise-grade innovation and user convenience-oriented solutions.
We'd like to talk about 2 features of our app that are inactivity wipe and message deletion after some days. The latter of the two is a form of message self-deletion, so it falls perfectly under the umbrella of this topic. However, the Inactivity wipe is actually very closely tied together.

Inactivity wipe

This feature prevents outdated, legacy vulnerabilities from creating a threat and prevents someone malicious from having enough time to hack into your app after they might've stolen or gotten a hold of your device.
By going to Settings -> Account -> Self-destruction mode, anyone can toggle a strict 7 to 30-day inactivity wipe timeframe. After that amount of time passes from your last interaction with the server, our platform (server) automatically determines the user inactive and irreversibly wipes the most relevant data. This dramatically diminishes the risks of exploitation. But since there's no risk of restoring data, we advise checking in to the app while online every few days to prevent unwanted wipes.

Message deletion after some days

This is the same as self-deleting texts. But, whereas most messenger apps have a strict automated service, deleting messages after the chat has been closed or after 10 minutes, etc., with Kraden, you can completely control message deletion intervals. Choose a timeframe between 5 and 30 days, or set this to never and keep all your conversations in one place. Keep in mind that this feature only concerns your device. Since Kraden usually establishes communications on a P2P basis and won't store any messages on our servers, there is no data to delete on them. Messages on the recipient's side aren't affected by your periodic self-deletion service but rather by their own.
To adjust the periodic message delete interval, you should go to Settings -> Messages -> Automatically delete my messages.


Self-deleting text services are a great way to protect your privacy. However, far from all messengers utilize this solution. Make sure you know what happens to your data and how it is protected if your messages aren't deleted. Don't hesitate to go into configurations and settings on your apps to change timeframes or other items to meet your demands and goals on privacy.
Kraden, on the other hand, is leading the way in self-destructing message services and protecting user data. With inactivity wipe and self-delete message services, you completely control your data. Check out if you're concerned about possible leaks and breaches to other messengers!
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