Did you get a message from WhatsApp saying that an encryption code has been activated on your platform? As confusing as it may sound, it may be a good thing for us. Although it falls in the grey area of our IT laws, it still seems to be convenient for its users. Confused? Well, here’s breaking it down for you.
The seven year old instant messaging app, WhatsApp, has gained a bit of notoriety over the last couple of days with its new encryption option. And, what that probably means is that the messaging app that has so religiously fostered the following that it has right now, might just find itself at the wrong of the law.
Here’s what the encryption means.
This means that voice calls, images or messages that are exchanged are secured by end-to-end encryption so that only the person who is communicating with you can read that content and no one else, not even WhatsApp. It does not allow any third party access to the data, and this includes telecom providers, Internet providers and the company that runs the messaging service. Which means that even WhatsApp itself can’t undo the encryption. This is available with the app’s latest updated version and is already in play. Now, this doesn’t stop people who grab your phone and flip through the messages, but you get the idea.
From today, you’ll get a notification on the conversation saying “Message you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info.”
The reason for this is that messages are now secured with a lock and you and the recipient have the special key which is needed for unlocking and reading them. Apart from this, a small lock icon is seen below the recipient’s profile which ensures that the chat is encrypted. This is how the message would appear:
Verifying if someone is spying on the conversation!
The latest version of this popular messenger has an option of verifying the keys of users with whom the chat is on. This ensures that there is no man-in-the-middle attack. You can verify this Whatsapp key by scanning a QR code or by going to ‘verify security code’ option and comparing the 60 digit number.
All this happens automatically
You can also opt for a preference which would notify you each time there is a change in the security code of the contact. All this would happen automatically and there is no need of turning on settings or setting up secret chats.