Flaws in WhatsApp Security:
In this 21st century, we end up trusting our gadgets more than ourselves, thus Whatsapp security is crucial. It is definitely convenient to have a digital assistant. It is indeed relaxing that we don’t have to carry around all the data in our head all the time. Services that remember our passwords for us, save our data on our devices so that we can access them anywhere anytime are just some of the instances of how easy things have become.
Fake Whats App Web and the Risks:
Unfortunately, this ease of accessing data is also the exact vulnerability that many hackers are exploiting today. Recently WhatsApp, the famous messaging app has fallen prey to such hackers. WhatsApp has a web version that we know as WhatsApp Web.
Not all app users are accustomed to the desktop version. The hackers are using this flaw to their advantage. They have created fake Whats App web applications. There are various versions of it but according to the most general version, users have to submit their WhatsApp number to download the app. Once the hackers obtain the mobile number of the user then it clearly becomes a case of identity theft. The mobile numbers can be used by hackers as they see fit.
The numbers can then be spammed or it can be used for worse things. The mobile number of the user can be signed up for premium services. These may lead to loss of money that the user is unaware of.
WhatsApp has the end to end encryption protection. So the messages are safe while they are being sent as they are being sent in an encrypted format. The problem lies in the fact that the messages are in unencrypted format when it is in our devices. The backups created by WhatsApp are in unencrypted formats and can be stolen by hackers. This gives enough information to the hackers which can be used by them for blackmailing the users or simply to use their identity for their use. For example- Names, addresses, contact, photos may be used by hackers for illegal activities. The retrieved information can also be sold on illegal markets on the Dark Web as there is a market for fake identities.
Safeguarding our Identity:
Simply put even with the endless security provided, no information is completely safe on the internet. We should be aware of the applications that we are downloading. Before accessing the desktop version of WhatsApp it is better to double-check that the application is authentic or not. We should never provide personal information like phone number, name, address etc without being sure about the authenticity of the website.
One should turn off the backup option in the app version to be on the safe side. It is wise to refrain from sharing personal information online as it may be misused by the receiver or hackers eavesdropping on the messages.
It is true that we are extremely dependent on mobile apps, web applications nowadays but it would be careless of us if we share all our information without a second thought. Once the information is out on the internet, we can’t do much to protect it. It is our responsibility to protect our identity.