Instant messaging is hard.
There are untold numbers of instant messaging networks (not even taking SMS into consideration)—with companies like Google having, all by themselves, created a half dozen competing applications and networks. And, if you want those messages to be secure? Well, things get even more difficult—there simply aren't many options.
In my ongoing quest to make my life as secure and private as possible, I've found three instant messaging networks that are worth talking about. They're not perfect, but they are significant improvements over using the many, astoundingly insecure platforms out there (such as Google's Hangouts or Apple's iMessage). Let's go over those here, with their benefits and pitfalls.