THE dnetc prepared a list with four questions and answers related to privacy and security on WhatsApp, to clarify the main doubts of users. Find out in which cases the application can share your data and learn to make it more secure.
WhatsApp can do good to users’ mental health, says research
Is your data safe on WhatsApp? See questions and answers about privacy in the app – Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / dnetc
Want to buy cell phones, TV and other discounted products? Discover Compare dnetc
1. Does WhatsApp share my data?
Yes, in some cases. In order to use WhatsApp, the user needs to provide basic information, such as name and phone number, in addition to giving access to the contact list. The application ensures that this data is not shared and that it is used only to identify the user and allow the exchange of messages.
Although WhatsApp regularly checks which of your phonebook numbers are verified in the app, this information is not passed on to third parties. The only exception is when the user himself shares a contact using the corresponding direct feature in the conversation, but the information is still protected by end-to-end encryption.
WhatsApp does not share the user’s name and phone number with third parties – Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / dnetc
It is worth remembering, however, that WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook in 2014. In June 2016, the messenger announced a change in terms of service and started to share information from users’ accounts with Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. This exchange allows, among other things, the marketing of data with Facebook partners, but does not expose the conversations exchanged in the messenger.
2. Does WhatsApp store my messages?
No. WhatsApp does not store users’ conversations. Messages exchanged in private and group chats are encrypted, which means that only the sender and receiver are able to view what was sent. Encryption applies to texts, photos, videos, audios, files and even location information shared with contacts. When content is delivered, it is immediately deleted from WhatsApp servers. The exception is messages that do not reach the recipient, which can remain on the server for up to 30 days, when they are deleted. Even so, the company is unable to read the messages.
How to delete messages already sent by WhatsApp
Although the application uses end-to-end encryption technology, it is important that users adopt certain security measures, such as connecting WhatsApp Web only to known computers and remembering to disconnect the device at the end of the session. This helps to prevent strangers from reading the content of messages.
3. Does WhatsApp track my location?
WhatsApp lets you send real-time location to contacts – Photo: Disclosure / WhatsApp
No. WhatsApp does not have access to or store data about the user’s location, as this information is encrypted as well as messages sent in the application. The exchange of information when sharing location in real time with another contact, for example, remains only in the conversation window itself, between the recipient and the recipient. As with other messages, sending the location is encrypted, so hackers cannot read it.
4. How can I make my account more private?
Adjust the privacy settings of the app to ensure more security to your data – Photo: Reproduction / Helito Bijora
WhatsApp brings several options for those who want to have a more secure profile. All of them are concentrated in the Settings> Account> Privacy menu. The user can prevent strangers from seeing his profile picture, change who has access to the «last seen» information (date and time of the last time he was online), remove the read confirmation, hide status posts for certain contacts. etc.
To reinforce account security, another tip is to activate two-step verification, an extra access code that extends protection to users.
How to stay invisible on WhatsApp with the help of free app