WhatsApp often makes big announcements about its safety and security like end-to-end encryption but glances over the threats it faces. Being the biggest social messaging apps, WhatsApp has caught the eye of the miscreants and spam threats have begun to rear their ugly heads. Here're five major drawbacks that WhatsApp needs to iron out.
Malware threats: WhatsApp users have often been at the receiving end of malware threats via an infected link or file but recently a new malware called 'Agent Smith' has been spreading that alters WhatsApp and replaces it with a malicious update that serves ads. The malware is capable of hiding its icon from the phone's launcher and can pose as WhatsApp to serve advertisements. This is just one of the possible ways the malware can use the affected device to send money back to the hackers, as per a typical pay-per-click system. The best way to avoid such malware is to use apps and services only from the official sources.
Backup messages are not encrypted: WhatsApp has made loud noises about end-to-end encryption that ensures that only you and the person you're communicating with can read what's sent. However, that encryption does not work if the data is stored as a backup on Google Drive. WhatsApp had recently signed a pact with Google to allow its users to store messages on the search giants' cloud storage offering.
Hacker can alter photos and videos: A security flaw in WhatsApp has come to light that allows potential hackers to alter the image, audio or video files. The vulnerability stemmed from how media files are stored in WhatsApp. The Media File Jacking threat is especially concerning in light of the common perception that the new generation of IM apps is immune to content manipulation and privacy risks, thanks to the utilisation of security mechanisms such as end-to-end encryption.
Fraud and fake news: In India, WhatsApp has come under the government's scanner for spreading fake news and misinformation. WhatsApp was caught up in the midst of several incidences of violence that occurred in India during 2017 and 2018. The Facebook-owned company has come up with several measures to curb this menace but has still fallen short of completely curbing it.
WhatsApp status isn't private: The Status feature on WhatsApp has been directly lifted from the one found on Instagram. However, WhatsApp is all about your phone contacts and not all of them are your friends and family members. Any person in your contact list can view your status. Luckily, WhatsApp now gives its users control over who can view their statuses but if your contact list is huge then it becomes a task to pick and choose a person you want to share or not share your status.
Edited By: Udit Verma