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These apps get the message — and then erase it

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You remember privacy, right? We were quite fond of it until the Internet came along. Then we started handing our personal data to anybody who promised us free e-mail.

At last, millions of us are having second thoughts. We’d like some of our privacy back.

The text messaging app Telegram aims to meet this need with its vanishing chat feature, and it’s got lots of company. There’s also Confide, which only displays incoming texts when you touch the words on the screen, and Wickr, a cool app with a “Mission: Impossible” trick — your messages can self-destruct after 10 seconds.

Telegram, along with similar apps like Wickr and Confide, may be tapping into a growing global distaste for the constant monitoring of our digital lives. But are those apps as secure as they claim?

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