What’s Up with WhatsApp? Hacks, New Features & Tips

9 Oct

So, have you heard What’sUp? Or rather What’s up with WhatsApp? It turns out, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams’, WhatsApp account was hacked, and some sensitive information landed up in the hands of a third party. Whoa! What’sUp? Well, that was the reaction of many people across the country as many commented on the irony of the hack happening to a Minister within that particular department!

While the Department is pursuing legal action against the hackers responsible, the rest of the country is wondering what they need to do to ensure that their WhatsApp account isn’t hacked too. As a result, users want to know more about the future of WhatsApp. They also want to know what the app plans to provide in terms of security and features going forwards.

WhatsApp Features You Probably Didn’t Know About

With a bit of effort, we have learnt a little more about the WhatsApp features that will come with the next update. These are listed below.

  • The Search Bar – The new WhatsApp search bar will be bigger, allowing users to search chat, people and media.
  • Increased Control Over Media Access – Now, you will be able to allow access to specifice albums and pictures on the phone and disable access to some folders.
  • Mute Forever –  You will have far more control over what you see with the option to mute particular chats forever instead of just for a limited time.
  • Catalogue Shortcut – A new feature that will enable customers to access your business products at the tap of a button.
  • Expiring Media – This seems to be the feature everybody’s been waiting for. This feature will allow you to send an image or clip to someone and have peace of mind that once it has been viewed, it will disappear.

Two Major Security Features Soon to be Implemented by WhatsApp

While the abovementioned features are sure to be highly appreciated by WhatsApp users, it’s the iOS users that are in for a real treat. Until recently, many iOS WhatsApp users were unaware that WhatsApp’s end to end encryption isn’t extended to messages and media stored in iCloud, which means that any chats backed up and restored are at risk. The new update ensures that the encryption of chat history hosted on iCloud is enabled – a feature that you can activate within WhatsApp settings.

A second security feature will also be introduced that will benefit both iOS and Android users. Users will have the option to send a personal QR code to other WhatsApp users, which will load contact details onto another mobile phone. The feature will allow users to change their contact details and even revoke a QR code, just in case you send your details to the wrong person by accident.

Last Word

According to WhatsApp, the app has end to end encryption technology, making it near to impossible for the messaging platform to be hacked. “WhatsApp end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what’s sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. Your messages are secured with locks, and only the recipient and you have the special keys needed to unlock and read your messages”.

Reading between the lines it would seem that WhatsApp believes Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams should maybe come clean with the public and admit negligence or unauthorised access, as the end-to-end encryption means you can’t hack the app! Or can you?

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