WhatsApp messages are encrypted, but this may not be enough to protect your privacy. Last month, WhatsApp rolled out an update that allows you to share View Once media, like videos and GIFs, via the app. However, if you try to take a screenshot of these media, WhatsApp will send an alert to the person you shared with stating that their message was captured in a screenshot and they can choose to destroy it and prevent further screenshots in the future. Thankfully, it’s possible to capture media via WhatsApp without getting caught by your friends or family. How to keep your WhatsApp messages safe from prying eyes
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What you need to know about end-to-end encryption
WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption. This means that when you send a message, it’s encrypted by the sender and then decrypted by the receiver with a lock key (or key) that is unique for each device. In this way, only you and the person you’re communicating with can read or see the content of those messages. A man in 2016 was convicted on charges of hacking into his estranged wife’s WhatsApp account, which had been changed so that he could no longer view any chats. He had hacked her phone and continued to access her account until she changed her password to something he didn’t know, at which point he downloaded old chat logs from her computer and tried using the personal information in them against her in court.
Why people are trying to break it down
Privacy on the internet has always been an issue, and while it’s true that there are measures you can take to ensure your privacy, nothing is 100% secure. That’s why when a new technology comes out that claims to be unbreakable or completely private, people immediately try and find the vulnerabilities. And with services like WhatsApp, which have millions of users worldwide, it doesn’t take much for someone with malicious intent to cause a lot of damage. The latest method being used to break down WhatsApp’s security is by using screenshots. It may sound trivial, but just think about how many times in one day you need to take a screenshot of something – whether it be a picture of your bank balance or screenshots for work-related things like sending documents.
What is View Once?
WhatsApp is introducing a new feature called View Once that will allow you to watch an online video or read a news story once, and then never see it again. The new feature is set to be released in the coming weeks as an update for the Android and iOS versions of the app. It’s unclear whether View Once will be available for desktop computers as well. When we reached out to WhatsApp, they replied: We’re currently focused on mobile devices.
Tools for a safer and more secure WhatsApp
There are a number of tools for both Android and iOS that you can install in order to make sure your data is kept private. All of these apps use the end-to-end encryption feature built into WhatsApp, so no one but the sender and receiver can see the message. Some apps allow you to set a timer on how long the message will stay on the phone before it deletes itself, as well as setting limits on how many times a screenshot can be taken. For example, if you were sending nude photos through WhatsApp, SnapChat is an app that allows for this functionality. Even though it doesn’t have the same kind of security features like fingerprints or passwords (that some other apps do), it does still protect your privacy because when someone takes a screenshot of your conversation with someone else on SnapChat, it notifies the other person and prevents them from taking another screenshot or video within 24 hours.
Tips for a safer WhatsApp experience
1. Avoid sending sensitive information over WhatsApp.
2. Don’t share any personal photos or videos on the app and never send a photo that you wouldn’t want others to see.
3. Be mindful of what is in the background of any photo you take, especially if there are faces in the frame.
4. Whenever possible, ensure your group chats are set to private and don’t share them outside of the group chat participants unless necessary.