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Telegram account registration, privacy, appeals, and other issues (2024)

Telegram, commonly known as TG or Paper Plane, is a chat communication software founded by Russian programmer Pavel Durov in 2013, focusing on privacy and speed. Telegram's parent company, Telegram Group Inc., is located in the British Virgin Islands, with its legal data protection representative being Telegram UK Holdings Ltd in the UK, and its operational headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Currently, Telegram has a global monthly active user base of 700 million and a daily active user base of 55.2 million, thanks in large part to its emphasis on privacy, user-friendly features, and encryption services. The software currently serves 155 countries worldwide and provides services in multiple languages.

I. Why Choose Telegram?#

1. Telegram prioritizes privacy.#

According to official information, Telegram uses the MTProto protocol, including end-to-end encryption for private chats, which cannot be deciphered by anyone other than the sender and receiver. (Moxie Marlinspike, a critic of TG, claims that in reality, TG can view all user information, see here, so the system is only relatively secure).

2. Telegram emphasizes speed.#

Durov has stated that his goal is to provide users with a secure, fast, and innovative communication platform, rather than focusing on profitability. To sustain its operations, Telegram has implemented a membership system that offers enhanced features for members. Although the download and upload speeds for free users may not match those of members, overall, they are still very fast.

3. Telegram offers a wealth of available resources.#

Since Telegram allows users to upload files to channels or groups without limitations, and due to its speed and emphasis on privacy, many channels and groups are dedicated to sharing resources such as music, movies, and e-books, such as Aliyun 4K Movies and Efficiency Resources Collection. There are also channels and groups dedicated to pure chat, information sharing, and technical exchanges, such as Open Source Community and Onesees, among others. Under normal usage, account suspension is rare.

4. Telegram can generate income.#

After Telegram started introducing advertisements (one ad for every 1,000 users in a group or channel, and the group/channel owner can choose to display or hide the ad), group/channel owners can generate revenue by promoting ads. There are also ways to make money through Telegram search bots, and specific tutorials can be found on YouTube. The actual operation can be decided by individuals.

II. Telegram Account Registration Issues#

5. How to register and remove private chat restrictions for +86 accounts?#

When registering for Telegram, we often encounter the issue of not receiving verification codes for +86 numbers. However, after multiple verifications and my own practical experience, Telegram does not block users with +86 numbers. The issue is usually due to restrictions imposed by mobile service providers or communication service providers.

So, how can we remove the registration and private chat restrictions?

5.1 Use a VPN#

It is best to choose a clean IP. The criteria for a clean IP include camouflage and fraud levels. If the camouflage level is below 90% or the fraud level is above 20%, it is considered an unclean IP. The following are the websites for checking camouflage and fraud levels:

Website for checking camouflage level: https://ip.gs

Website for checking fraud level: https://ip234.in/#fraud_check

5.2 Install Google Suite#

For Huawei phones, you need to install the Google Suite. As an alternative, you can install GBox, available at https://gboxlab.com/.

5.3 Download the official Telegram X mobile app.#

It is recommended to download Telegram X on a mobile device for registration, as it is said to be more difficult to register on a computer. The download link can be found on the official Telegram website or through third-party channels such as Apkpure.

5.4 Disable overseas interception and harassment#

As a precaution, call your service provider to disable overseas interception and harassment to reduce resistance when registering for Telegram (this step is not necessary).

After completing the above steps, you can register an account using a +86 number. The above is the experience I gained after successfully registering with a +86 number.

5.5 Removing private chat restrictions.#

If your account cannot engage in private chats (usually with a +86 number, as it was previously used for gray or black market transactions), you can explore the official Telegram bot @spambot. Start a conversation by typing /start, then click "But I can't message non-contacts!" and "No, I'll never do any of this!". Next, enter the reason for your appeal, such as "I do nothing, but I cannot send any message to anybody. Please help me unlock my account." After that, the official team will review your appeal, and after a period of time, they will notify you through your Telegram account.

III. Telegram Account Security Issues#

6. Account security issues and recommendations#

6.1 Security risks of +86 registered TG numbers.#

Registering Telegram with a +86 number may make it easier to be tracked. Each Telegram account has a unique ID, and changing the username will also change the ID. When registering with a +86 number or changing to a +86 number, the account ID is likely to be monitored.

Although the official app prohibits querying accounts by ID, third-party software such as Nekogram X (note: not Nekogram) can be used for querying. After installing Nekogram X, go to "Settings," then "General," and enable "Display ID and DC in profile." You can then view the account's ID and DC (Data Center).

Since Telegram has a feature that notifies contacts when a new account is registered, if someone adds all the contacts in their country, any new user will be notified in that account. Refer to here. (Someone mentioned on V2ex that their TG account registered with a +86 number was asked to have tea, see comment in the 11th floor, but it is difficult to verify if it is true).

In summary, although it is simple to use, for security reasons, it is better not to register or change to a +86 number. (If you think using a +86 number to register a TG number is still okay and security is not that important, then you can skip the following information.)

After querying this information, even in the case of changing the TG number registered with a +86 number to Google Voice, I still deleted that Telegram account and prepared to register a new account with a new GV number or other foreign numbers. The previous Google Voice number will no longer be used for Telegram registration.

6.2 Account registration recommendations#

There are two relatively secure ways to register an account:

First, register through a virtual number platform and enable two-step verification. Virtual number platforms include https://sms-activate.org/en/ and https://sms-bus.com/, among others. I have only used sms-activate to register for ChatGPT (which no longer requires phone number verification).

Note: For TG accounts registered through this method, it is essential to enable two-step verification. Otherwise, if a TG account registered without two-step verification is re-registered with your previous phone number, the other person can delete your TG account and reset all the data associated with it. With two-step verification enabled and an email linked to the account, the other person would need to remove two-step verification first, which requires the verification code from your linked email. Therefore, it becomes more difficult for someone to delete your TG account using a virtual number.

Even after registering a TG account using a virtual number and enabling two-step verification, there are still risks, such as the account being temporarily locked due to multiple attempts to remove two-step verification or frequent reminders of abnormal login or two-step verification removal attempts.

Second, purchase foreign numbers, including virtual or physical numbers. For physical numbers, UK Giffgaff cards are commonly used, which can be applied for on the official website https://www.giffgaff.com/ and sent by regular mail to China, although they often get lost. Users usually choose to purchase and activate them on Taobao, which is more reliable and cost-effective for long-term use. The solution I chose was to buy a Google Voice number. Currently, there are many places online that sell Google Voice numbers, so please be careful when choosing.

After obtaining a Google Voice number, it is recommended to clear browser history or use incognito mode. Combined with the previously mentioned VPN and clean IP conditions (including only logging in with one TG number per IP), you can register a TG account using Google Voice on Telegram X.

Note: If the purchased Google Voice account has already been registered (apparently for illegal business), and two-step verification has not been set up, you can request to delete the account on the mobile app and then re-register a TG account using that number. (I have done this and it works, which also emphasizes the importance of enabling two-step verification on TG.)

7. Things to Note After Registering a New Account#

7.1 Conceal personal information on Telegram as much as possible.#

Telegram has a large user base, and there are many scams and phishing attempts. Therefore, it is best to hide personal phone numbers, nicknames, etc.

7.2 Other Telegram settings.#

  • Some information will be filtered by the official app. If you want to view information freely, you can disable filtering in Privacy & Security settings.
  • It is recommended to disable the automatic download function for files. Since some users disguise viruses as files, Telegram has automatic downloads enabled by default. For safety reasons, it is recommended to disable automatic downloads for files. To do this, go to Telegram Settings -> Advanced -> Media Auto-Download, and disable automatic downloads for private chats, groups, and channels.
  • It is recommended to enable the "Delete my account if away for" feature and set the duration according to your preference, ranging from 1 month to 1 year, etc.
  • It is recommended to set a custom download folder. By default, Telegram saves files to the C drive on your computer, but it is recommended to set a custom folder on the D drive, such as the Telegram directory. To do this, go to Settings -> Advanced -> Download Path, and choose a custom folder.

8. Regarding the issue of TG accounts being banned by the official team#

The logic behind the official team banning Telegram accounts seems mysterious, as even members who have purchased a membership may be inexplicably banned.
However, based on my observations and analysis, there are several characteristics of TG users in China who are banned:
Using an IP address that is not clean or frequently changes (the same IP address may be used by many people, and some may use it to send triggering information, etc.); being reported in group chats or private chats (this can be resolved through official channels); not using TG for a long time and choosing to self-destruct according to settings (as mentioned earlier, it is recommended to set an account to self-destruct if not used for 1 year); adding a large number of groups or sending messages with a new account, which is considered spam advertising by the official team.

Note: If a new GV number is immediately banned after registration, the solution is mainly to appeal through official channels:
Option 1: Send an email to the official team at [email protected] or [email protected].
Option 2: Post a message on the official support platform at https://telegram.org/support. The appeal should include your phone number +1 XXX XXX XXXX, stating that your account was banned immediately after registration, but you want to use TG to communicate with friends and share good things you found on TG, etc.
Option 3: Send a message to the official customer service account on Twitter, Telegram Login Help.

Template for my appeal: Dear Telegram official, I love Telegram very much, and many of my friends are on TG now. Recently, I used my phone number +1 XXX XXX XXXX to create a TG account, but seconds after logging in with the phone number's message, it told me that my phone number has been banned.

I don't know why my account was banned, and I plan to use TG to communicate with friends and share many good things. It means a lot to me. Please help me unban my phone number and TG account. I would like to see my account restored. Thank you. (Replace +1 XXX XXX XXXX with your own GV number)

Summary: When using TG, try to use a clean IP, minimize the number of reports against your account, and avoid triggering official bans. For new accounts, gradually increase usage. For old accounts or member accounts, try to register and use TG in a suitable environment.

Note: This article was originally published on January 16, 2024, here, and is archived here.

References: Article 1; Article 2.

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