The Facebook-owned instant messaging app – WhatsApp is the most popular messaging application now a days with more than 2 billion users worldwide. Before its acquisition by Facebook in 2014, WhatsApp already became the most used messaging app due to its pocket-friendliness. For this reason, the social media giant Facebook, which also has grown considerably over the years, added WhatsApp to its value since acquisition.
Though formerly WhatsApp was appreciated by all, due to its unique features, with time it also happened to grow some disadvantages. These issues made this messaging app vulnerable, hence it is better to stay off WhatsApp and chose an alternative messaging app like Telegram or Signal. Here in this following section, check the most sensitive issues with WhatsApp and why should you ditch it:
The privacy issues with Facebook.
In several cases, Facebook has admitted that the private user’s information, which includes the usernames, email addresses, phone numbers, and preferences, has been leaked. Also, these sensitive data are kept without encryption by Facebook, which makes the user’s private information vulnerable. Now WhatsApp users need to consider that their private data is being managed by Facebook authority for developing targeted advertisements. For this reason, it is advised to switch for alternative options.
Spread of fake news via WhatsApp.
Previously on numerous occasions WhatsApp have failed to prevent spread of fake news on its widely based platform. WhatsApp did have a fake news problem from earlier but since when it has been incorporated by Facebook it has become even harder to avoid spreading fake news. Also, the organization have failed to come up with a full-proof mechanism to prevent misinformation at the source. Although, WhatsApp has restricted the forward feature to only 5 contacts at a time to control the spread of fake news.
The user’s metadata is shared by WhatsApp.
The user’s metadata or the structured data is shared by WhatsApp, even if we assume that the messages are encrypted. This metadata with computer-readable tags like sender, recipient, time, etc. is shared with Facebook and other companies for inter-relationship purposes. This information can be more sensitive than the contents of messages or chats.
Why Telegram or Signal?
Both these apps work in a secure end-to-end encrypted messaging, which is a similar way to WhatsApp. They support group chats, smileys, and attachments similarly. Also, you can make video and voice calls from these applications. Now Signal has just introduced PINs as a form of identifying yourself, in spite of the identity via the mobile number.
As per the renowned cyber-security professional Mr. John Opdenakker – “It implies that even if this data did get stolen from Signal’s servers, it would be useless for attackers who don’t have your PIN code.”
WhatsApp could get a similar feature to make the user’s information more private and secure. As, on this 21st May, it was revealed that WhatsApp is adding a new security feature for the users. This new feature will provide the option for users to send a personal QR code to load their contact details into another phone. In the future, the QR code may get replaced by a different unique identifier. But till then consider WhatsApp vulnerable and use it accordingly.