When you install WhatsApp on your smartphone, you are asked to approve the requested permissions, confirm your phone number, and import your existing contacts. Is it safe to give one app so much access to your personal information? Cybersecurity experts says on the app’s security and privacy features, warning that it could make your phone an easy target for hackers and offering suggestions to boost your security.
WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to protect all communication on its platform. These encryption keys not only make it impossible to decrypt messages, but they also prevent third parties and even WhatsApp from accessing messages or calls. That means “only you and the person or group you are communicating with can read or see the messages, photos or files you send, or listen to the calls you make,”
Here end-to-end encryption makes WhatsApp more secure than other communication apps, no app is 100 percent safe to use. Like any app or digital device, WhatsApp is often targeted by bad factors. The app also has access to your contacts and tracks where and how long you use it, by allowing all this access putting your privacy and personal information at risk.
WhatsApp has made loud noises about end-to-end encryption that ensures that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what’s sent. However, that encryption does not work if the data is stored as a backup on Google Drive. WhatsApp had recently signed a pact with Google to allow its users to store messages on the search giants’.
A security flaw in WhatsApp has come to light that allows potential hackers to alter the image, audio or video files. The vulnerability stemmed from how media files are stored in WhatsApp. The Media File Jacking threat is especially concerning in light of the common perception that the new generation of IM apps is immune to content manipulation and privacy risks, thanks to the utilisation of security mechanisms such as end-to-end encryption.
In India, WhatsApp has come under the government’s scanner for spreading fake news and misinformation. WhatsApp was caught up in the midst of several incidences of violence that occurred in India after 2017.
The latest version of WhatsApp allows users to remove messages from their device as well as the recipient’s chat (within an hour of sending the message). To delete a message in WhatsApp, tap and hold the message, tap “Delete,” and then choose “Delete for Me” or “Delete for Everyone.” You can also turn on a self-destruction timer feature, which makes your conversations disappear after seven days. Once messages are deleted, you cannot recover them again. But don’t forget that recipients can always take a screenshot or record what you sent on another device before it’s deleted, Payton says. Once your messages are secure, learn how to arm yourself against 2021’s top security threats of smartphones.
The Status feature on WhatsApp has been directly lifted from the one found on Instagram. However, WhatsApp is all about your phone contacts and not all of them are your friends and family members. Any person in your contact list can view your status. Luckily, WhatsApp now gives its users control over who can view their statuses but if your contact list is huge then it becomes a task to pick and choose a person you want to share or not share your status.