While countless individuals all over the globe have been signing up to use the popular app known as WhatsApp, new information has recently been uncovered about this product that may have you rethinking this.
The messaging service has recently come under fire as reports surfaced that third parties actually have access to the messages sent over this platform and to the company’s servers. While the organization vehemently denied these claims, there are still a number of reasons why everyone should stop using this application.
The issue stems from the fact that the program pushes its users to back up their chats on third-party cloud services. While they try to mask this as being a safe approach, it instead puts your private information at risk. Here are six of the top reasons why any WhatsApp user should immediately stop using the program.
1. The App Misleads It’s Users
Most of WhatsApp chats are stored without encryption, which means that they aren’t necessarily private. However, the average user wouldn’t realize this based on the way that the app misleads the public. Unfortunately, because the program states it uses end-to-end encryption, it gives many users a sense of false security.
2. WhatsApp Puts User’s Private Data At Risk
WhatsApp actually encourages users to expose their private data to third-party sources. The program’s user interface is specifically designed to back up messages. Instead of getting a pop-up that asks whether or not you want to back up your information, this application simply asks how often you want to backup. While you can go into the settings and select that you “never” want this data to be backed up, most users will choose one of the first few options available and ultimately end up backing up all of their private information.
3. Most WhatsApp Messages Are Stored Unencrypted
A majority of WhatsApp messages are actually stored unencrypted. There is an even higher risk for iPhone users who store their chats in the cloud. This means messages are vulnerable to government requests. This is because there is a tighter iCloud integration for Apple’s users and the app has even more UI prompts for the iPhone.
4. Even your Deleted Messages Are At Risk
Even those who select “Clear All Chats” and decide to delete their messages aren’t necessarily safe from having their messages at risk. These deleted messages can still be read. The logs containing deleted messages are still sent to the iCloud and stored there forever. Yes, even messages you delete are still vulnerable to data requests.
5. Your Metadata Can Be Transferred to Facebook
In addition to having your messages at risk with WhatsApp, when you use the program, your metadata is also at risk. When the two companies made a $19 billion deal it unfortunately put many user’s information at risk. Metadata is information such as who you chat with, how often you chat and which group chats you are a member of. This information is stored by WhatsApp and it’s also easily transferred to Facebook. Even worse for users is that you can’t opt-out of this either.
6. Your Group Chats Are Almost Guaranteed to Be Stored in the Cloud
While most users don’t even realize it, when they start using group chats, there is an almost certainty, that their chat is going to be stored in the cloud and there is no way to opt out.
In three-person group chats through the messaging service, there is an 87.5% probability that the chat is being stored in the cloud, and the number increases with the more members that join the group chat. For groups of five members it is nearly 97% and for those with seven it is 99%. Simply put, there is virtually no such thing as encrypted group chats in WhatsApp.
With such a lackadaisical approach to keeping their customer data safe, WhatsApp has inadvertently put many people’s private information at risk. While the company has tried to convince the public that third parties can’t access these messages, they can in fact read you WhatsApp messages. Keep this important safety information in mind whenever you log on to use this program.
The good news is, there are other apps out there that can easily replace WhatsApp and still provide users with the secure messaging services that they need. Apps like Telegram have over 100 million users, not to mention the amped up security features that customers need in order to keep their information secure.
What are your thoughts on what WhatsApp is doing? Tell us in the comments!
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place