WhatsApp Steps Up With Encryption

Categories Social Networking

About 2015, I posted about WhatsApp having a hole. After so many calls to up their game, WhatsApp decided to step up. This new feature ensures that chats or messages between two people or within a WhatsApp group cannot be accessed or intercepted by any third party.

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On launching WhatsApp on your device, you may get a message-like notification thus: “Messages you send to this chat and calls are not end-to-end encrypted. Tap here for more info”. If you can’t find this notification, tap the name of the contact, you should see the notification as depicted below.
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This encryption feature however is not activated until you have upgraded to the latest version of WhatsApp. For WhatsApp Groups, all group members must have upgraded or else, group chats are not encrypted. Details of this encryption were released by WhatsApp in a whitepaper on April 4. You can choose to also  receive notifications if the encryption key of one of your contacts changes. The notification is turned off by default. To do this, Launch WhatsApp, go to Settings, choose Accounts and select Security to turn on this notification.
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Already, there has been concerns from various security and government agencies regarding this new development. Security parastatals now need to seek warrants for snoops into chats and messages that needn’t such previously. While BBM has been a better messaging app due to its encrypted messages, WhatsApp now poses another challenge in solving security matters. On its blog, WhatsApp posted concerning this:

“While we recognize the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cyber criminals, hackers, and rogue states.”

There are many who don’t find a need for their messages being encrypted. A user points out that he doesn’t have anything to hide. Or maybe I should ask, what do we have to hide?

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