comscore Here’s a closer look at WhatsApp end-to-end encryption and how it's securing your messages
News

Here’s a closer look at WhatsApp end-to-end encryption and how it's securing your messages

Security has become more important for WhatsApp now than ever before. Especially if it has to consider payment features.

whatsapp-stock

Amid growing concerns over privacy of user data, and consumer security from prying eyes, WhatsApp has decided to speak of security. And we’re glad to hear that. Also Read - WhatsApp beta for iOS reveals changes, here's what users might get

Persistent encryption

Also Read - How to temporarily deactivate/permanently delete WhatsApp account

The company shared a few details on the end-to-end encryption it applies to guard the conversations you cherish. Ever since the global roll out of the security feature last year, every chat window you open shows a message, Messages to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info. In case you ever wondered what it meant, read on. Also Read - WhatsApp COVID-19 relief efforts: How you can get resources during the pandemic

To encrypt messages over its network, WhatsApp uses the Open Whisper System s Signal protocol at the sender s end, and then to decrypt at the receiver s end. In doing so, only the two people who are part of the conversation are privy to the messages. Even WhatsApp can’t read them.

Encryption over devices or the web

This level of security holds true even while you’re using WhatsApp for Web. According to the company, end-to-end encryption is a default feature and can t really be disabled. The infographic below, illustrates exactly how the end-to-end encryption works.

whatsapp-encryption-infographic

Reiterating how secure this feature is, Alan Kao, Software Engineer at WhatsApp says that there’s minimal possibility that a hacker can steal the encryption key used to secure your message. In fact, even if someone did manage to get hold of the key, they’d only be able to see one message all thanks to the use of a unique encryption key for every single message sent on the platform. This nearly rules out the probability of a hacker getting access to a message.

Our changing ways

As technology has evolved, so have our consumption patterns and digital communication traits changed. We’ve gone from emails and chat applications to instant messaging.

You may not have realized it, but WhatsApp has become an integral part of your communication mechanism. What else can explain the 1.3 billion monthly active users with 1 billion using the app every day?

WhatsApp nation

The company adds that India has over 200 million monthly active users. The way Indians are using WhatsApp has also undergone quite a bit of change. Beyond just chatting, the app is building communities, solving problems, and emerging as a channel for outreach for governments. RELATED: Looking for ways to minimize fake news on platform: WhatsApp

This surge in user growth only underscores why WhatsApp considers India an essential market. It’s no secret that the company is working on integrating payment into the app. It’s widely believed it could UPI for this. WhatsApp spokesperson Carl Woog however wouldn t comment on how far the development of this feature has reached.

Given the potential use cases, it becomes all the more important that messages sent on WhatsApp stay extremely secure. We built WhatsApp with security in mind, Kao reiterates.

Are we secure?

While end-to-end encryption is no doubt the best option right now, it can be a tad limited when it comes to how it keeps our data safe. For example, it’s only limited to the messages being sent on the platform. In case you’re using a third-party keyboard that’s compromised, then there’s no certain way of telling if your key taps aren’t getting siphoned off.

Secondly, the encryption also doesn t completely cover chat backups. Kao clarified that the backups are only encrypted while they are being sent to the respective cloud service Google Cloud on Android, and iCloud on iOS.

Once the backup is stored on these platforms, they are essentially protected by the standards adopted by Google and Apple, respectively. While that s not exactly a bad thing, we’ve seen perpetrators hacking into a company s cloud service, and accessing personal data. ALSO READ: Ditching WhatsApp encryption will help terrorists: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: August 23, 2017 8:44 AM IST
  • Updated Date: August 23, 2017 8:46 AM IST



new arrivals in india

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Best Sellers