Like many Android device users, you probably use WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends and swap photos and other files with them. But do you know exactly how WhatsApp uses and protects your data? Are you sure that you’re 100 percent safe when using the app?
End-to-end encryption and its backdoor
WhatsApp has become a sort-of leader when it comes to online security. On April 5, 2016, the company announced that they were starting to implement end-to-end encryption, making them one of the very few platforms to do so. End-to-end encryption means that your messages, voice calls, video calls, and shared files are given unique codes that can only be read by the intended recipient. So, even if they would be intercepted by a hacker, he or she would still not be able to read your data.
WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption has been welcomed with open arms by many users. Unfortunately, it seems that the system isn’t really perfect. Reports reveal that the app has a backdoor that could technically allow it to access users’ messages and other data. This, in turn, can be an issue if the government tells WhatsApp to disclose its messaging records.
WhatsApp has claimed that this loophole exists to allow its app to still send messages even if users would change their phone. However, this hasn’t abated many people’s fears that the company might one day give government access to its users’ private data.
Scams on WhatsApp
End-to-end encryption isn’t the only issue that WhatsApp users have to face. Many of them come across scams that put them at risk of downloading malware into their devices and sharing sensitive information with the wrong people. One of these scams urges you to sign up for “WhatsApp Gold”. This supposedly would give you the ability to delete WhatsApp messages and share 100 files at a time, but it’s actually a fake product and doesn’t exist. Clicking on the invitation will inevitably lead to your phone getting a malware infection.
Should you give up WhatsApp?
Not really! WhatsApp is still one of the most secure and most useful platforms out there. Just be wary of “too good to be true” messages even if they come from your friends. If you’ve clicked on a suspicious link and think that your Android phone has been infected with malware, read this to know how to remove it from your device.