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Signal now allows you to use a PIN instead of a phone number to identify yourself

By Ng Chong Seng - on 21 May 2020, 10:51am

Signal now allows you to use a PIN instead of a phone number to identify yourself

(Image: Signal.)

Cross-platform encrypted messaging service Signal has announced Tuesday that it’s now allowing profile PINs to help users easily switch between devices.

In a nutshell, the PIN is used to encrypt data like profile information, settings and contacts. A copy of the encrypted data is then uploaded to Signal’s servers, which means you can use the same PIN to recover the data when you switch to a new device or phone number. The one thing it can’t do — and rightly so — is recover your conversations since those are never backed up in the first place.

According to the company, a Signal PIN can be alphanumeric, long or complex — the only requirement is that it must have at least four digits. But since Signal doesn’t have access to your keys (and data), it warns that the PIN can’t be recovered if you forget it.

The Signal PIN option is now available to all users, and you can find it under the Settings > Privacy section in the app.

Before the introduction of Signal PINs, you can only use your phone number to identify your account, which you can imagine isn’t ideal when you switch numbers or want to maintain complete anonymity. According to Signal, the new ID method also frees the company to explore new features, such as addressing that isn’t based exclusively on phone numbers.

Source: Signal.