O dnetc prepared a list of four privacy and security related questions and answers on WhatsApp, to clarify the main doubts of users. Find out in which cases the app can share your data and learn to make it safer.
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Is your data secure on WhatsApp? See in-app privacy questions and answers Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / dnetc
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1. Does WhatsApp share my data?
Yes, in some cases. In order to use WhatsApp, the user must provide basic information such as name and phone number, as well as give access to the contact list. The application ensures that this data is not shared and is used only to identify the user and allow message exchange.
Although WhatsApp regularly checks which of your calendar 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 user name and phone number with third parties Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / dnetc
Remember, however, that WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook in 2014. In June 2016, the messenger announced a change in terms of service and began sharing user account information with Mark Zuckerberg's social network. This exchange allows, among other things, the trading of data with Facebook partners, but does not expose conversations exchanged in the messenger.
2. Does WhatsApp store my messages?
No. WhatsApp does not store user conversations. Messages exchanged in private chats and groups are encrypted, meaning that only sender and receiver can see what was sent. Encryption applies to text, photos, videos, audio, files, and even location information shared with contacts. When the content is delivered, I immediately delete it 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 cannot read the messages.
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Although the application relies on end-to-end encryption technology, it is important for users to take 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 prevent strangers from reading the content of messages.
3. Does WhatsApp track my location?
WhatsApp lets you send real-time location to contacts Photo: Divulgao / WhatsApp
No. WhatsApp does not have access to or store user location data, as this information is encrypted as well as messages sent in the application. The exchange of information during real time location sharing with another contact, for example, remains only in the conversation window itself between the recipient and the receiver. As with other messages, sending the encrypted location so that hackers can't read it.
4. How to make my account more private?
Adjust the app's privacy settings to ensure more security for your data. Photo: Playback / Helito Bijora
WhatsApp brings several options for those who want to have a safer profile. All of them are concentrated in the Settings> Account> Privacy menu. The user can prevent strangers from seeing your profile picture, change who has access to last seen information (date and time of the last time you were online), remove read confirmation, hide status posts for certain contacts. etc.
To reinforce account security, another tip is to enable 2-step verification, an extra access code that extends protection to users.
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