reasons why the app is not secure

WhatsApp is the communication platform preferred by most people in the world because it provides different tools to connect with others, such as calls, video calls and text messages. In addition, the ‘app’ is always looking to make changes to improve the user experience.

However, just because it’s the most popular doesn’t mean it’s the safest regarding the privacy of people’s data and encryption. Indeed, there are several reasons why they recommend not using WhatsApp.

Why is WhatsApp not completely secure?

According to the ADSLZone technology portal, the main reasons why it is preferable to opt for other messaging applications to be calm regarding the security and privacy of the user are:

On the other hand, the company created by Mark Zuckerberg look for ways to monetize the ‘app’ since he had to remove the payment system after the appearance of free platforms such as Telegram, which recently launched a ‘Batman mode’.

Also, although WhatsApp encrypts messages end-to-end, does not do the same for all data. In fact, the website can access the metadata to know, among other things, the time of delivery and the recipient of the messages. Yes, WhatsApp stores other information, such as the IMEI of the cell phone, the mobile operator and the user’s location.

  • Security flaws in WhatsApp: According to the aforementioned media, only in 2019, the application presented 6 security flaws, of which 3 were serious; the first hacked the phone when receiving a call from WhatsApp, even if it was not answered; with the second, an attacker could execute a code by sending a GIF; and the third did the same as the second but with an MP4 file. These vulnerabilities are provided for governments and spies to have access to what the platform and equipment contain, which threatens people’s computer security.
  • Not everything in WhatsApp is encrypted: messages and calls are end-to-end encrypted, which means that no one, not even the application, can read or listen to the content of the chats (with the exception of the members), says WhatsApp on its website. However, backup copies of conversations uploaded to cloud storage, such as Google Drive or iCloud, are not encrypted, ADSLZone noted. Therefore, in the event that the encryption keys are requested in the middle of a judicial process, Google, for example, must give them because it has them. In that order of ideas, turning on automatic backups in Drive is a risk, but many prefer to take it so as not to lose the history of their chats.

In the following video they explain what end-to-end encryption is, which is part of many mobile applications.

  • WhatsApp is a “dependent multiplatform”: At the moment, WhatsApp depends entirely on the cell phone to be used. In fact, if a user wants to open WhatsApp Web they need to have their mobile phone with data or connected to Wi-Fi, and close to the computer, since they must scan the QR code to open the ‘online’ version (although this will change shortly when login via fingerprint is enabled).

Thus, the dependency that characterizes the application to be used on other platforms is a disadvantage, the media indicated in its publication. Other ‘apps’, such as Telegram, only require the cell phone to create an account, but people can use them from different devices without depending on the mobile.

Thus, WhatsApp must store all conversations on its servers to switch between one computer and another, which undermines user privacy.

  • WhatsApp does not have a key function activated by default: Although WhatsApp has the option of storing the encryption keys on people’s cell phones, but not on the servers, the function is not activated by default, but the user is the one who must enable it, contrary to what happens in other ‘apps ‘as Signal. To activate the function, you have to go to ‘Settings’, then to ‘Account’ and finally to ‘Security’.

Next, a video in which they question which is the safest instant messaging application: WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal.

How to make WhatsApp more secure?

The WhatsApp messaging service is exposed to attacks related to cybersecurity and data leakage, but there are recommendations that can be put into practice to avoid them; some of them are:

  • Protect the account: for this it is important turn on 2-step verification, which is enabled by entering the ‘app’, then ‘Settings’, then ‘Account’ and finally ‘Two-step verification’. Thanks to this function, a 6-digit pin must be entered when verifying the cell phone number on WhatsApp, said Hipertextual.
  • Block WhatsApp: If many people have access to the user’s device, it is best to block the application so that it can only be entered by means of a code, pattern or fingerprint, the portal added in its article.
  • Request the ‘app’ not to store the received files: This function is useful for the user to be the one who chooses which files received are the ones they want to store, but not for the application to choose to save everything that arrives, noted the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
  • Log out of WhatsApp Web: Leaving an account open on the web version of WhatsApp threatens the user’s computer security, since it exposes another person to access the content of their conversations, said the aforementioned media.

In the following video there are some tips to improve security on WhatsApp:

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