Signal lets you see more info before you accept a message from a stranger

You can see a sender's profile before you accept their message or call.

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The encrypted messaging app Signal is making it easier for users to decide who they chat with -- and who they block. Now, when someone who isn’t in your contacts starts a new chat with you, or adds you to a group, you can see the sender’s Signal profile before you decide to accept, delete or block the conversation.

Signal is taking the same approach with voice and video calls. If the caller isn’t in your contacts, your phone won’t ring until you accept the request. “Keep your friends close. Keep serenity closer,” Signal wrote in a blog post.

In newly created group chats, you’ll now see the profiles of the people you’re chatting with -- instead of their phone numbers. A new icon in one-on-one chats will appear next to a user’s name if they’re already in your contacts, and if someone updates their profile name, you’ll see an update in the conversation thread. Signal says its profiles are end-to-end encrypted and shared through its secure protocol, so that personal info should be safe.

Signal is generally considered one of the most-secure messaging apps, and its industry-standard encryption protocol is used by other apps. Still, Signal isn’t quite mainstream yet. That hasn’t stopped it from adding useful features like those announced today, as well as face blurring and the ability to securely transfer data from one iOS device to another.

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