WhatsApp - secure messaging applications

WhatsApp - secure messaging applications

WhatsApp, with over 2 billion users, is one of the most popular secure messaging applications for Android and iOS. Its huge user base is undoubtedly one of WhatsApp's strengths, along with its compatibility with iOS and Android and lack of advertisements. You can easily send text messages, photos, as well as short videos and voice messages. But are WhatsApp chats private?

Security Features

Security features: end-to-end encryption, encryption verification, two-step verification (2FA), data not stored

WhatsApp uses a highly reliable encryption protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, the company behind the secure messaging app Signal. Only the sender and receiver have the keys to decrypt messages sent through WhatsApp. The app also has a "Confirm Security Code" screen that allows you to verify that your calls and messages are encrypted with end-to-end encryption. The code is presented both as a QR code and as a 60-digit number.

Security Threats

Security threats: unencrypted backups, phone number required, data sharing with Facebook

In late 2016, WhatsApp added encryption for iCloud backups. However, until recently, messages from Android phones whose backups were stored on Google Drive were not protected in the same way. In September 2021, WhatsApp announced that encrypted cloud backups would be available to all iOS and Android users later this year.

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 and has been sharing user data with the social media giant since 2016. In 2021, WhatsApp compelled users to share a significant amount of data with Facebook if they wanted to continue using the secure messaging application.