A wave of delight has started to sweep away 600 million users of the most popular messaging app WhatsApp. The company has released an update to its Android app that will have a strong end-to-end encryption by default. What does this mean for you? Scroll down to know.
The recent partnership of WhatsApp with Open Whisper Systems is nothing but good news for users who might have questioned the security or privacy of their WhatsApp messages. In its latest update for Android, the company has integrated the TextSecure encryption protocol.
What Does this Mean?
With the TextSecure encryption protocol in place, your messages are end-to-end encrypted. In other words, your messages can be read only by you and the receiver. So, this eliminates the risk of a hacker or anyone decrypting and reading your messages while it is traveling to the recipient’s device.
This Encryption Technology is Stronger than What Facebook and Google Uses
While our emails and messages on Facebook and Google are encrypted, they can still be read by authorities if permitted by law. TextSecure, on the other hand, ensures that the message is only read by the sender and the recipient, and no one else, nada. So, even if the government compels WhatsApp to share your data, there is no way they can do it. Hence, it can be safely said that this is the strongest security feature any major texting app has ever offered.
As per reports, WhatsApp is by far the largest platform that has deployed end-to-end encrypted communication in history.
As of now, the TextSecure protocol only encrypts your text messages and not group chats, images and videos. However, Open Whisper Systems has stated in a blog post that they will be rolling out support even for these issues in the near future.
Do you have to Activate the TextSecure Protocol on your WhatsApp?
You do not have to do anything to turn this security feature ON, as it would be enabled by default. Also, this will not affect the way you use the WhatsApp in anyway. As Open Whisper Systems’ co-founder Moxie Marlinspike says it, “Ordinary users won’t know the difference, it’s totally frictionless.”
For those who would like to know about this development and how the TextSecure protocol works, here are some useful sources you can gather knowledge from:
Now that your WhatsApp messages are encrypted, do you feel safer about your privacy? Do leave your comments below!