Is WhatsApp Safe? That’s the big question in almost every user’s mind. It is estimated that over two billion people use the app, sending about 100 billion messages per day.
And that’s why we discuss all you need to know about the potential dangers of using WhatsApp. Including some of the platform’s most common security issues and scams.
The Big Question, Is WhatsApp Safe?
Although the app itself is very secure, cybercriminals, focus on WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp Desktop. hackers were able to install WhatsApp spyware due to a vulnerability, according to a security advisory published by the messaging service in 2019.
That’s why you should only use apps and services from official sources. WhatsApp offers a web client for you to use on any computer, known as WhatsApp Web, which you should only access through the WhatsApp website.
The loopholes have been highlighted a few times. Facebook revealed the vulnerability affected all WhatsApp apps (including the business versions).
Others create phishing websites masquerading as WhatsApp Web and tricking you to enter your phone number to connect to the service.
However, they actually use that number to bombard you with spam or link it to other leaked or hacked data on the internet.
Backdoor through Backup
The messages you send on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted. This means that only your device, and that of the recipient, can decode them.
This feature prevents your messages from being intercepted during transmission, even by Meta itself. However, this doesn’t secure the messages once they are decrypted on your device.
Recently WhatsApp updated its service to include end-to-end encrypted chat backups. However, this setting is disabled by default.
Go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup and select Turn On to secure your WhatsApp backups.
You’ll need to create a password to protect your backups. However, remember that you won’t be able to access your backups if you forget the password—WhatsApp can’t restore it for you.
Facebook Data Sharing
In January 2021, Meta released a new data-sharing policy for WhatsApp, mandating the transfer of your information between WhatsApp and Facebook.
After users complained, the company then noted that it would limit WhatsApp’s features for anyone who doesn’t opt-in.
This data-sharing policy can potentially be one of the biggest WhatsApp security risks. Because it implies that your data will also be vulnerable if Facebook can be hacked.