WhatsApp Apps | App Security and Updates

8 Sep

The Low Down on WhatsAppening to WhatsApp Apps

Mobile apps have transformed the way we live our lives. From ordering online to keeping tabs on our health, from banking to gaming there’s an app for everything, and communication apps are a big part of the conversation. In fact, can you even remember how you conversed before the days of Skype, Slack, Facetime, Telegram, WhatsApp or WeChat?

However, with modern technology and mobile apps changing at virtually the speed of light, it’s important to remember that these innovations can come with an added cost to your security.

Take Facebook owned WhatsApp Messenger as an example.

Launched in 2009, this platform is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. Ever evolving, messaging apps such as WhatsApp are difficult to monitor and control making them a frequent target of hackers and scammers. We take a look at recent updates and developments to the platform and how these might affect your data security.

whatsApp updates

WhatsApp first announced its improved multi-device capabilities in July 2021. This meant that apps supporting the WhatsApp function would no longer require a smartphone connected to the internet in order to function properly.

This new capability offers app users the ability to use WhatsApp on an additional four non-phone devices, without being connected to the phone.

how secure are third-party WhatsApp apps?

To run an official WhatsApp version on a tablet currently you need to use the WhatsApp web platform, but users often download modified versions of the app such as GBWhatsApp and WhatsAppPlus.

These third-party apps go against the Terms of Service of the WhatsApp platform and aside from the security risks that users expose themselves to, they also stand the risk of having their WhatsApp account banned for using an unsupported version of the app.

coming soon to iPad

Facebook is in the process of giving WhatsApp a virtual facelift by creating an app suitable for tablets, adding this to their own virtual tool-belt of multi-device support capabilities.

The multi-device 2.0 will mean that you can use your iPad as a linked device without needing your smartphone to act as a hub for the link although you will still need to have a phone number. Currently, the app can be connected through portals, Windows and MacOS but these need to have a primary smartphone device connection.

While still under development, you can expect to see these changes in the very near future. In addition, the changes will mean that WhatsApp will work independently for iPad, and those with iOS will automatically have the iPad version once it is rolled out.

will whatsApp still be secure?

To keep users secure, WhatsApp has revamped its security measures. Each multi-device will have its own identity key mapped to the user’s account. As a result, messages are encrypted and not stored on servers once delivered.

In addition, using improved technologies will prevent compromised servers from snooping on communications if they add additional devices to the user’s account.

  • Extended security codes – unique identifiers so contacts can verify devices
  • Automatic device verification – devices automatically trust each other without reregistering
  • Biometric authentication for linking devices – fingerprint of facial recognition to link devices
  • Device list – a visible list of devices can be monitored for use and logged out of remotely.

is your data secure?

Sadly, the best security technology in the world often can’t protect you from your biggest security threat – your own end users.

Human error, whether it be malicious intent or naïveté isn’t always in your control but having an effective set of company security policies and an automatic data backup system means that you have a backup plan to access data in the event of a system failure or cyberattack. We ask you – whatsAppening with your security?

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