Encrypted messaging services like BlackBerry Messenger are great for business since they encrypt your conversations end-to-end, but they won't help you if someone manages to crack the encryption code. BBM Protected tries to solve that problem; the soon-to-be-released new version of the mobile chat app — available for iOS and Android in addition to BlackBerry devices — offers even more security. Instead of protecting an entire conversation behind a single encryption key, the updated app generates a unique key for every single message sent through the service. That way, a hacker who obtains an encryption key will only be able to view a tiny piece of what was said, instead of the whole conversation.
BBM Protected, set to launch in June, relies on the same encryption technology used by the U.S. government for sending classified information. In other words, it's worth a look for businesses that really want to keep private or confidential client information secure. Encrypted instant messaging services like BBM are quicker and more convenient than email, and much more secure than normal SMS text messaging. And unlike SMS messaging, which you pay for as part of your cellphone plan, text messaging services are free, Web-based apps.
The current version of BBM is still extremely secure. It uses a PIN-to-PIN messaging system, which means that all messages are encrypted during transmissions and can only be decrypted by a private key on the device owned by the intended receiver. Messages pass through a firewall before hitting BlackBerry's servers, so not even BlackBerry employees can read the messages. Individual businesses can also obtain a unique encryption key for added security.