The most popular messaging platform undoubtedly claims to be the safest, but the recent cases that have surfaced have opened its door. Narcotics Control Bureau’s Special Investigation Team obtained many clues through WhatsApp chats during the investigation of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput‘s death case. Several media channels also shared WhatsApp chats while disclosing case-related names.
In the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, Riya Chakraborty’s first WhatsApp chat was leaked, which cause the actress to be named in connection with the drugs, causing a lot of panics. But now, the names of Bollywood big stars are gradually appearing in drug connections.
Let us know that one of the most popular actresses, Deepika Padukone, is currently being held in several churches. Research on the actress’ WhatsApp chats has led to her name being linked to drug connection. Nowadays, a big question has arisen about encryption and user privacy.
Can the government read your chat history or access any third WhatsApp message except the receiver or sender? All users are looking for answers to these questions. The question now is, is it possible to exclude privacy for legitimate purposes?
So Is Your Data Safe & Secure?
As we all know, most people usually use WhatsApp to chat, but how do they keep your data safe? To keep your data confidential, first of all, tell you that if you have not deleted the chat history, then the input saved by cloning the phone can be removed. In addition to this, if the backup is not deleted, it can undoubtedly access the backup data of your phone or any cloud services.
Cloning Can be the Easy Way
The easiest way to read other users’ messages and steal data on WhatsApp, is to steal their identity. If WhatsApp senses that you are one of the receiver or sender, you can still read the message despite the encryption. Cloning can be a method by which after stealing a user’s identity, his/her data can be copied to another device.
With the help of an app, without touching his/her phone, the identity of someone can be stolen and his/her WhatsApp account can be accessed like a cloned user. Besides this, the WhatsApp chats backup is not encrypted, which may be the reason for the leakage of personal messages.
What the hell is happening with WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is one of the most widely used applications in the world. To create an account on WhatsApp, users only need a mobile number and verify their identity through the SMS that comes on it. WhatsApp does not allow users to set a PIN or password, like other social media services, without which it cannot sign in. You can only set a verification pin after log in.
This means that if a user’s number is cloned, his/her WhatsApp account can be created and it can be restored using any old chat backup.WhatsApp’s Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is also unavailable because its 6-digit code(by SMS) also appears on the user’s contact number.
What is the Solution?
These are some of the methods by which one can ensure the privacy of personal chats and the safety of the Watsapp data.
1. Set App-Specific Passwords
Many applications (including Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp) allow you to set app-specific passwords (or require the use of fingerprint or face ID). Even if someone accesses your phone through hackers or through physical means, this will add a layer of security.
Therefore, your privacy settings mainly depend on your application. When you install any application from the Google Play Store or App Store, you should be extra careful not to approve the application to be verified. Even the user’s location should be avoided. At the same time, never keep automatic uploading on your phone. This may cause problems with your privacy.
Hence, always keep your WhatsApp application delinked. If you choose to back up your phone to back up your WhatsApp/phone data and then the button will turn green and it will back up everything on your phone. If you do not select the backup option, then this button will turn gray.
2. Understand the Terms and Conditions, then Allow
The problem is that many of us only grant permissions without understanding what we allow. WhatsApp itself will trouble you to back up your chats from time to time and you think this is not a bad idea. The backup is stored on your Google Drive or iCloud. This is how; it seems that the private chats of Bollywood actors are being broadcast on the public domain.
3. Don’t Export WhatsApp Chats
If a user exports his/ her WhatsApp chat history to email or Drive, the end-to-end encryption will be lost and these chat history will not be protected. To ensure the security and privacy of the Watsapp chats, do not export the chat via email or upload the chat anywhere.
4. Don’t trust iCloud or Google Drive
The data on iCloud or Google Drive is easily hacked and is not protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption. You can upload it on the cloud only when you are inveigled that a stranger sees your content.
5. Use Signal for Disappearing Messages
There is a basic problem with chatting. People chat in the moment. They say and do things just like an oral speech at that moment. Your private conversations with friends in the bar will not be archived. However, the chat history is archived and may bother you again.
A good way to protect your privacy is to not archive them. The Signal app is considered the most secure, trustworthy, and reliable application. Its message disappearing feature causes the message to disappear within a period of time after the recipient has read it. You can choose how long to keep the message, from five seconds to a week. WhatsApp does not have this feature and it is very much needed. Telegram has it.
Are You Sure Your Message Has Deleted?
- In the case of Bollywood, it seems that deleted messages/data have also been recovered.
- Even if you delete your WhatsApp or delete messages from WhatsApp, the messages can be retrieved through forensic research on your phone.
- With the disappearance of messages on Signal, this may not be easy. However, even in the past, it was known to be not 100% safe.
- There is no 100% security, but the disappearing message of Signal is much safer than letting random chat stay on your phone or cloud service for years.
If you happen to make any of the above mistakes, correct them before you get into trouble.
What does WhatsApp say?
After the personal chats in the Sushant case were leaked, the company stated that WhatsApp would not read personal chats to its users. Now, WhatsApp repeats the same thing whenever it is asked about application privacy. The company statement came at a time when Bollywood actors’ WhatsApp chats about drugs were leaked, causing WhatsApp users to worry about the privacy of their messages on the messaging platform.
Are WhatsApp Chats Not Encrypted?
Audio calls, messages, and video calls made on WhatsApp are completely encrypted. WhatsApp protects your data through end-to-end encryption, the company spokesperson claimed. End-to-end encryption means that third parties and WhatsApp can never access your personal data. When you and your message recipients use our app, the end-to-end encryption function of WhatsApp is available.
Several messaging apps only encrypt messages or data between them and you, but end-to-end Watsapp encryption assures that only you and the person you interact with can read the content sent, and no one in between can read or take it, not even WhatsApp. This is because your communication is protected with a lock, and only you and the recipient have the unique key required to unlock and read.
However, other people on the sender and receiver’s devices can only access these messages. In other words, encryption is working, but the security of the message cannot be guaranteed.
Based on this information, we can protect the data with a little effort, but the data can be accessed by the country’s eminent agency on the court’s order or can be accessed through hackers.
Are there any Privacy Laws in India?
- Regarding security, the company spokesperson stated that the user data is not 100% safe or secure.
- Even if you delete your data, hackers can still steal your data from the server.
- The country’s eminent bureau can access anyone’s conversion/data on the court’s order.
- There is no privacy law in India.
- The data privacy law has been pending before Parliament for deliberation, but it is a weak draft.
- Therefore, even if this law is passed, it will actually not do much to protect the privacy of citizens.
- It is designed to enable the government to easily access your data.
- Under the IT Act, data theft and hacking can lead to sections 43 and 66.
When you live in a country where the government has told the Apex Court that privacy is not a fundamental right, and people don’t even have an independent right to over their own bodies, it’s time to take phone privacy seriously.