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WhatsApp is used daily by over 1 billion people and among users are celebrities who share private data, businessmen who give bank accounts etc., and the developers have to make sure that their messages won’t be read by hackers who will use information to blackmail users and steal their money. Facebook has introduced end-to-end encryption to boost the apps’s privacy, but this technology has been also adopted by other rival messaging apps such as Telegram, G Data’s Secure Chat, Criptyque’s Pryvate and many more.

Encryption has been introduced on WhatsApp since the launch of this application, but in the meantime, the developers have adopted superior end-to-end encryption, relying on from Open Whisper Systems’ perfect forward secrecy (PFS), which involves private keys being stored on users’ devices and which are changed for every message. This technology is very secure and it protects message even from WhatsApp’s employees, as only the sender and recipient have access to what’s inside them.

However, there’s a catch. Even if WhatsApp doesn’t have access to users’ private key, it still builds a public directory using the public key and phone number. This directory is necessary for users to find out who else is using the application, so that they can contact other people. In addition, WhatsApp is able to see who sends messages to whom and this info is stored in the form of metadata. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, so it operates as a separate service, but its users are able to share their account information with Facebook, in order to allow companies who post Facebook ads to make their products known to WhatsApp users. This idea didn’t please many fans, who chose not to share their account info with Facebook. The thing is that Facebook won’t obtain users’ numbers, even if they are stored in WhatsApp’s public directory, if the WhatsApp phone number is removed after users “Read more about the key updates to our Terms and Privacy Policy.”

So, if you still have doubts about the security of WhatsApp, there are other free applications that offer similar features. Pryvate from Criptyque, a fully encrypted communications platform that can be installed on mobile devices and which offers two services: Pryvate and Pryvate Pro (a free 30-day free trial). The former has features that include unlimited voice calls, instant messenger and receiving conference and video calls. The latter has all the features mentioned above, as well as the option to initiate video and conference calls, it offers customer service, email functionalities and anti-blocking enabling communication, which is done through firewalls.

Recently, the application has introduced Presence capabilities and it informs users if their recipients take a screenshot of their message. Soon, a self-destruct instant messaging feature will be added, as well.

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