How to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secure

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How to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secure
Secret conversations keep your Messenger chats private. Nico De Pasquale Photography/Getty Images
  • You can make a "secret conversation" in Messenger by starting a new conversation and tapping the icon in the top-right corner.
  • Messenger's secret conversations are encrypted, meaning that your messages are incredibly private - not even Facebook can read them.
  • Secret conversations are only available in the Messenger mobile app, not the website.

In the past few years, encrypted messaging apps have become increasingly popular. Signal, Telegram - and now Messenger.

Despite being run by a company not known for its data security, Messenger's "secret conversation" feature is a legitimately safe way to chat with friends and colleagues. Secret conversations are protected with end-to-end encryption, meaning that no one outside the chat can read what's inside.

It's similar to Vanish Mode, another Messenger feature that prioritizes secret and secure conversations.

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If you care about privacy and want to use Messenger, secret conversations should be your go-to tool. Here's how to start a secret conversation and customize its settings.

How to make a secret conversation in Messenger

Secret conversations are exclusive to the iPhone, iPad, and Android Messenger apps. You won't find them in the Messenger desktop app or website.

1. Open the Messenger app and tap the compose message icon in the top-right corner.

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2. A list of all your contacts will appear. Here, tap the button in the top-right corner - on an iPhone or iPad it'll say Secret, while on an Android it'll be a switch with a padlock icon.

How to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secure
Turn on the secret conversation mode by tapping the button in the top-right. Facebook; William Antonelli/Insider

3. Tap the person who you want to have a secret conversation with. It has to be a one-on-one chat - you can't have a secret group chat.

4. You'll be brought into a secret conversation with the person you chose. Once you send a message, it'll appear on their device.

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How to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secure
Your secret conversations are "end-to-end encrypted," meaning they're secure at all times. Facebook; William Antonelli/Insider

If you're Facebook friends with the person on the other end of the chat, you can enable disappearing messages as well. These let you put a timer on every message sent, so they'll delete themselves after a short period of time.

1. At the top of the secret conversation, tap the other chatter's name (iPhone or iPad) or the "i" icon (Android) to open the options menu.

2. Tap Disappearing Messages, and then choose how long you want messages to last.

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How to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secure
If you enable disappearing messages, your messages can last up to a day. Facebook; William Antonelli/Insider

Additionally, you can report the person you're chatting with, block them, or just delete the chat. To do so, open the options menu again and tap Something's Wrong, Block, or Delete Chat respectively.

How to use the 'secret conversation' feature in Facebook Messenger to keep your chat secure
Secret conversations can be reported, even if disappearing messages are enabled. Facebook; William Antonelli/Insider
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