WhatsApp encryption means no one will ever be able to look in on your messages

By admin
06 April 2016

"No one can see inside that message," the tech giant announced. "Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us."

In what's been called a landmark event, WhatsApp has just launched full end-to-end encryption for their users -- meaning the 1 billion people who use the app worldwide will be able to do so in absolute privacy.

"The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to," the tech giant announced on their blog.

"No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation."

Read more:  WhatsApp to be discontinued on certain cellphones

The best part? You don't even have to turn it on. "If you're using the latest version of WhatsApp, you don't have to do a thing to encrypt your messages: end-to-end encryption is on by default and all the time," WhatsApp explained in the post.

This even applies to WhatsApp groups -- whether there are 2 or 20 people in it.

However, whoever you're messaging will need to have the latest version of the app to for it to work. As long as you have the latest version, encryption will work, whether you have an iPhone or an old Nokia flip phone, according to Wire.

To check whether your conversations are encrypted, tap on the recipient's name to view their contact details. There, you should see a little lock symbol.

What does encryption actually mean?

Encryption is a way of sending a message (or in WhatsApp's case, a photo, a video or even a data call) so that it can only be read by the intended recipient. Instead of being sent as plain text, the message is "scrambled" in such a way that only the sender and recipient's devices can decode it -- meaning no other servers or networks.

"In other words, WhatsApp has no way of complying with a court order demanding access to the content of any message, phone call, photo, or video traveling through its service," Wired reports.

Sources: Wired, The Telegraph, Fortune

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