Saturday, September 30, 2023

Are WhatsApp messages secured?

How secure is WhatsApp and what should be done to improve message security?

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4 min read

From public statuses to malicious malware spreading by the computer version of WhatsApp, these are things you can definitely pay attention to.

It is used by about a billion people who exchange over 65 billion messages every day.

Popular applications usually carry an increased risk of hacker attacks, primarily because they have a large number of potential targets. According to criminals, someone will fall for it sooner or later.

 

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WhatsApp – Malware in the browser version

The large WhatsApp user base makes it an ideal target for criminals who very often use the WhatsApp Web to attack. For years, WhatsApp has allowed you to open web pages, download desktop applications, scan codes and use WhatsApp on your computer.

Since you can install software on your computer from various sites, while you need a store on Android and iOS, hackers know how to use it.

If you accidentally download the application from the wrong place, it is possible that it is hacked software that plays WhatsApp and installs spyware on your computer.

Another approach involves phishing where an application that pretends to be WhatsApp asks the user for a phone number to check and then overwhelms it with fake calls, fake messages, and so on.

If you have a desktop computer and want to run WhatsApp, you can download the legal version of WhatsApp for Windows or Mac computers.

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WhatsApp Backups without encryption

The messages you send in WhatsApp are encrypted at two ends, which means that only you and the recipient can read them.

However, this does not protect the messages after they arrive on your phone, explains “Makeuseof”.

WhatsApp allows secure storage of conversations on Android and iOS, while local data storage exists on the device, and is located on Drive or iCloud.

Both types of storage contain decrypted versions of the content you have on your smartphone. Backup encryption will give you more protection against unwanted access to your data. N

Of course, there are ways to bypass encryption, but that’s another story.

If you want to encrypt your backups, go to WhatsApp settings or Settings> Chats> Chat backup> End-to-end encrypted backup and activate encryption there to create an extra layer of protection for your conversations.

 

Sharing data with Facebook

Meta, or Facebook, is often criticized for its monopoly and anti-competitive behavior.

In 2014, Meta decided to add WhatsApp to the ‘Facebook family’, and the EU allowed it only after they promised that the two companies would remain separate – a promise that Facebook did not keep.

WhatsApp updated its rules of use in 2016 and allowed data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook. Although it did not reveal exactly how much was shared, it was confirmed that the data included a phone number and information about when you last used the service.

Although Facebook promised not to publish this information, the mere implication that Facebook has a secret version of our profile was enough to change the company’s rules over time due to strong objections. The saga with the changes in the rules lasted until the middle of last year when Facebook was left without a large number of users due to the compulsion to pass new, more invasive provisions.

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Under the current situation, users are allowed to choose whether they want to share data with Facebook (although the company still convinces them to do so).

 

Keep an eye on the WhatsApp Status

WhatsApp has for years allowed users to post a small line of text that would appear next to a contact.

Over time, however, he copied the Instagram feature and turned the short text into WhatsApp Status. The problem is that the Instagram platform is designed to be public, while WhatsApp is intended for smaller circles of acquaintances, a small circle of friends, and close family.

Sharing status on WhatsApp, unless you disable the program – it’s available to absolutely all your contacts.

To change this, go to settings and change the way statuses are shared. Go to Settings and go to Account> Privacy> Status and there choose whether you want to share with all contacts, all contacts except selected and among only selected contacts.

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