Is WhatsApp’s Encryption More Reliable?

Is WhatsApp’s Encryption More Reliable?

WhatsApp’s actions this week were more than shocking as the company gave its customers end-to-end encryption. The term “End-to-End” refers to the protection of a conversation- once it’s done prior to it leaving your cell phone, it can only be read after it has reached your partner’s phone. Consequently, not only the company itself but also not a single person will be able to have access to your messages.

The critics who who have insisted on WhatsApp being encrypted may be really pleased with this turn of events. However, the excitement of this new development doesn’t apply to the government agencies, despite the funny fact that the US government helped fund the encoding system WhatsApp employs. Undoubtedly, this fact will raise a lot of suspicions.

It’s important to mention that no matter what has been claimed above, while your messages are still being sent and are in transit, they can actually be accessed by hackers. This could potentially happen when someone opens a backdoor into your system in order to secretly snoop on your texts. That’s why no encryption itself helps enough if you do not follow the instructions we are about to share with you in this article.

If it is really important for you to communicate safely by WhatsApp, you should delete your conversations as soon as you have read them. If you have your smartphone stolen and the thief knows how to access your texts, then the information will be available to anyone out there. Moreover, only few messaging applications, like Telegram, do self-delete their content from a given phone. The expiration period can be set and after that your massages will automatically be deleted. Unfortunately, WhatsApp does not offer such a useful option.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that Telegram doesn’t encrypt in an end-to-end way by default. As a result, if you want your messages to be encrypted, you will need to choose that feature manually. We should also mention that most of the encrypted messaging systems do not save your messages on their servers. WhatsApp doesn’t do that as well. However, if you use an Apple iPhone, it is possible for you to tell WhatsApp to keep a back-up of your chronology on Apple’s online storage service, more commonly referred to as iCloud. Immediately after this information is uploaded to the cloud, a government agency or even hackers can access it without too much difficulty.

The application Signal is said to be the preferred choice among users when it comes to privacy. This app does not save your data or messages to a cloud service. Of course, if you have the habit of taking screenshots of your texts before deleting them from the app and if your phone is set to automatically save them to Google’s or Apple’s servers or any other cloud services- then this information is highly possible to be hacked.

Let us clarify it one more time- your messages can never really be safe if someone has access to your screen. If that bothers you, you can choose from a variety of visual protection apps on the market. Such applications will allow you to view your screen as normal. Though, the people around you won’t be able to check what is on your screen. However, if the people around you are trustworthy, and the only protection you need is from the government agencies or hackers, you should merely remove any text as soon as it’s been read. Also, remember not to take any screenshots on your phone.

We can also add that if you want additional protection, you should avoid public Wi-Fi networks. If it is impossible for you to do that, use a paid VPN that includes encryption services. We are aware this is a lot of work, but it is always better to act in order to improve your security and prevent any possible danger.

May your new end-to-end encryption enhanced WhatsApp give you wonderful experience!

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Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com , a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people. In his off time he is an avid book reader, occasional PC gamer and affectionate football spectator. Daniel would hardly begrudge anyone who might call him a computer nerd, yet this might be just the thing one needs in case of a security issue.