WhatsAp, One of the most popular messaging platforms, with over one billion users, has just announced that all of the communication and data exchange on its platform will now be secured with full end-to-end encryption.
In an official blog post WhatsApp messaging service, which is now owned by Facebook said that it has completed technological development, which makes it a “leader in protecting private communication”. The end-to-end encryption is added to all single conversations, group chats, calls, photo, video and audio files shared through the mobile and web applications.
That means if you send a message, make a phone call, send a photo or video, it will be locked down from access by anyone else other than you and the person you are talking to. With end-to-end encryption in place, not even WhatsApp can access your conversations, as long as you’re using the latest version of the app to have those conversations.
Similar to Apple’s iMessage and some other instant messaging platforms such as Telegram, end-to-end encryption makes the contents of WhatsApp chats unreadable to third-parties. And with the encryption keys stored on a user’s device, they cannot decrypt chats if served a valid government request.
“From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file and voice message you send is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats,” said WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, who grew up in Russia during communist rule.
“The fact that people couldn’t speak freely is one of the reasons my family moved to the United States,” he added.
This is a major change in how the app sends your data from one end to the other as now no one but the person the message is originally intended for will be able to read it. From now on no one will be able to intercept your message including hackers, cybercriminals as well as government agencies. WhatsApp says the addition of end-to-end encryption will make WhatsApp “sort of like a face-to-face conversation”. Not even WhatsApp itself will be able to read your messages.
The encryption is now enabled for all users from the back-end on the latest version of WhatsApp. As a user you are not required to do anything in order to take advantage of this feature.