Is WhatsApp safe? We asked experts if you should use this app in 2022

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WhatsApp, owned by
Meta‘s Marker Zuckerberg, is deemed one of the safer messaging services, with end-to-end encryption one of the key selling points. Notwithstanding, with apps similar Bespeak and Telegram available, is WhatsApp worth it, and is it even prophylactic?

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 and rose to stardom subsequently being bought by Meta, formally Facebook, back in 2022. It now has over two billion agile users and has been downloaded over five billion times. When an app gets to that height information technology’s of import to ask, is it safe?

We asked effectually the stratosphere and found out what several security experts think about the app and how rubber it is to utilise compared to the other messaging services out in that location.

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Is the app safe to download?

Antony Demetriades, VP at McAfee, spoke to Trusted Reviews about how WhatsApp uses cease-to-end encrypted messages on everything sent in the app to assist protect users.

“But the important affair to remember is that WhatsApp offers cease-to-end encrypted messaging on everything sent in the app. Your information will only be shared with Meta if y’all are messaging a business, co-ordinate to the company.

“Still, while the app safely encrypts conversations, it doesn’t protect them from people taking and sharing screenshots of conversations and personal information,” Demetriades went on to say.

What are the benefits and the drawbacks to WhatsApp over other messaging apps?

Ducan Brown, VP of Enterprise Inquiry, told Trusted Reviews that ane of the main benefits of WhatsApp is the sheer number of people already using the app.

“Ii billion people worldwide are using WhatsApp and so it’s almost sure that people you desire to message already have WhatsApp. Information technology introduced end-to-end encryption equally a standard feature final yr.”

WhatsApp has offered finish-to-terminate encryption for a long time, simply it was only fully implemented in 2022. The visitor also announced that its cloud chat backups would be end-to-end encrypted from last yr.

Consumer privacy champion at Pixel Privacy, Chris Hauk, also mentioned to Trusted Reviews the importance of stop-to-finish encryption regarding the condom of messaging apps.

“WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption (although messages to businesses might not exist finish-to-end encrypted). The Meta-owned app may share some information dorsum to the Facebook Mothership. Users need to make sure that their backups are encrypted every bit they are not encrypted by default. Messages are bachelor from multiple devices, which while a convenience can as well present security and privacy issues,” Hauk concluded.

Demetriades goes on to talk nigh the issues that WhatsApp has encountered over the last yr, like the backlash when information technology asked users to consent to share their data with Facebook, and how the apps under Meta collapsed for over seven hours dorsum in October of concluding year.

“WhatsApp has faced its fair share of challenges this twelvemonth. From the announcement that the platform would share data with parent company Meta, to the 6-hr ability outage in October which saw Telegram gain a tape 70 meg users,” Demetriades says.

“But nosotros must not forget, despite news the app will share data with Meta, this only applies to people who are messaging businesses on the platform. In the face of increasing competition, including Betoken’s full delivery to privacy, WhatsApp can be accused of falling curt on adapting to customer needs.”

Dr Gareth Owenson, the CTO and co-founder of Searchlight Security, explained to Trusted Reviews that WhatsApp has come nether burn down for the fashion it shares information with Facebook.

“WhatsApp is safe in that it uses the aforementioned secure encryption as Signal but is owned by Facebook – a visitor which has historically monetised personal information (principally for advertising). WhatsApp has recently come under criticism for attempting to expand the amount of data shared with Facebook,” says Owenson.

WhatsApp says that the only data it shares with Facebook pertains to helping preclude spam and does not business organisation advertizement. The WhatsApp website claims: “Today, WhatsApp does not share your personal information with Facebook to improve your Facebook product experiences or provide you more relevant Facebook advert experiences on Facebook.”

Chocolate-brown goes on to say that he expects that WhatsApp will share more information with Facebook in the futurity, even if information technology isn’t happening now.

“WhatsApp is owned by Meta (the company behind Facebook), which has announced the intention to share data between WhatsApp and Facebook.

“They won’t practise this in the EU and the Britain considering we have GDPR here. Merely Meta gets its revenue from advertising, and it wants to monetise WhatsApp. So I await some sort of advertisement-based shift to WhatsApp in the future. If you don’t heed ads or information existence shared between the WhatsApp and Facebook platforms, and so none of this will matter to yous,” Brown concluded.

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Should y’all move your current chats to the app? Or should current users leave?

Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate at Comparitech, over again touches on the thought that people will use the messaging service that their friends use.

“Most people’due south option in messaging app isn’t based on which app is best; we choose to use messaging apps because our friends and other contacts apply them,” Bischoff says.

Hauk reinforces this idea, however, he also mentions that anyone sending sensitive information over WhatsApp may want to consider what app they’re using.

“Many users are not concerned about their messaging app’s privacy offer, instead they usually utilize the messaging apps used past their friends and family.

“However, anyone who messages about more than “do nosotros need milk?” should consider using one of the three messaging services [WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal], while also encouraging their friends and family to also utilise the apps,” Hauk says.

Out of the available messaging apps out there, WhatsApp is a solid choice for anyone wanting to communicate with friends and family unit, simply you should even so exist careful what you transport.

“Amongst the messaging platforms, WhatsApp continues to be 1 of the best,” Demetriades went on to say.

“Despite difficult situations, resulting in large numbers of people using new platforms, WhatsApp continues to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging for non-commercial individuals. And then, unless you feel comfy messaging a business and sharing your data, so WhatsApp is however a good choice.”

As a rule of thumb Trusted Reviews recommends any privacy focussed reader invest in a robust VPN. Y’all tin can see a selection of the easiest and most reliable we’ve lab tested in our best VPN guide.

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