Signal – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Signal? 

Signal is a free messaging app, similar to Whatsapp or Viber, that allows you to send messages over an internet connection, using end-to-end encryption (E2EE). End-to-end encryption prevents third parties from accessing data while it is transferring from one device to another.  Signal is considered one of the safest messaging apps. For these reasons, the SASC has decided to use Signal to allow for safer message communication. In appearance, it looks similar to sending a text message. Chat messages can be set to disappear after a certain amount of time, we set it to delete after one day unless you prefer a shorter timeframe. 

How is this different from texting? 

Sending text messages over a cellular network is not a secure form of communication as they cannot be end-to-end encrypted. Signal ensures end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and uses an internet connection. For this reason, we limit text message conversations as much as possible, and encourage folx to use Signal if you would like to communicate in a message format with support workers. 

What about when I do not have access to the internet?

Unfortunately, to ensure messages are sent securely you will need internet access on your device. If you do not have internet access and want to contact a support worker, please call us at 604-827-5180. 

When can I message you? 

Support workers are available to respond to your messages Monday-Friday 8am-10pm and Saturday-Sunday 11am-7pm. If you are seeking support after these hours, please consider phoning WAVAW’s 24-hour crisis line at 604-255-6344. 

Can I video call you? 

We are offering video call appointments using a platform called Talk to your support worker if you would like to schedule a video call. If you want to schedule an intake appointment using, contact us at (604) 827 5180, or text us using Signal at (604) 729 5476 to schedule the intake appointment.

What if I’m worried about someone reading my messages on my device? 

We do not suggest using Signal, text messages or emails if there is a high risk that your device may be seen or used by someone else. The SASC sets messages to disappear off the platform automatically after one day, and that is adjustable to as little as five seconds after they have been read. Please let us know of your privacy concerns in advance and whether you prefer to have the messages disappear in a shorter timeframe than a day. 

Will I be able to message a specific support worker directly? 

Essentially no. We rotate who checks the Signal App depending on who is working. Support workers will let you know who you are communicating with. If you would like to contact a specific support worker directly please use email, however we strongly suggest that emails be limited to scheduling information.