Since then, calls have been made to leave WhatsApp for other alternative apps in which user privacy is more secure. Let’s take a look into the exact issue and which alternatives you may want to consider.
Recent WhatsApp Issue
Recently, WhatsApp has received a great amount of flak for the many issues that have arisen recently. Issues such as WhatsApp not working, privacy and security breaches have been seen recently.
WhatsApp New Policy
After the policy statement released by WhatsApp, the ministry of electronics and information technology has been looking at WhatsApp’s new policy. It will be sharing commercial data with Facebook.
The company stated further that if users do not accept these new terms, their accounts would be deleted.
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WhatsApp claims that it is still end-to-end encrypted. However, this does not fit with the new policy, which states that WhatsApp will share Facebook data.
WhatsApp also states that if users rely on any third-party service or other apps related to Facebook, those third-party services may receive information about you. The IP address and your device may be provided to a third party.
WhatsApp has also released the new information being collected from your device by WhatsApp. Some examples are:
- Battery level
- Signal Strength
- Browser Information
- Time zone
- IP address
These were not stated in the previous policy, so many are outraged over this new policy. WhatsApp’s new policy also tackles certain updates on deleting a WhatsApp account.
The WhatsApp new policy states that if someone only deletes the WhatsApp app, its information will still be stored. The proper way to completely delete your chats is to delete your account as well as the WhatsApp app.
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Nevertheless, this will not affect any of the groups you made or the information other users relate to you.
The new policy also states that even with location features set to off, the IP addresses and area codes are collected to estimate your general location.
WhatsApp Security Breaches
Within the previous few years, there have been many hacks relating to WhatsApp. A cybersecurity breach once left WhatsApp users vulnerable to dangerous spyware installed via the messaging app.
To encounter this, WhatsApp had to release a statement urging users to quickly update the app to remove the risk.
The Financial Times also reported a loophole in WhatsApp that allows attackers to download spyware on phones by only calling individuals.
This spyware could be installed whether or not the user answered the call. In recent times A malicious video named Argentina is circulating on WhatsApp.
This video contains a link; upon opening the link, hackers can hack your phone in just under 10 seconds, and the process cannot be stopped. These types of security breaches only encourage others to leave WhatsApp for a more secure messaging app.
WhatsApp not Working on Older Devices
WhatsApp boasts over 2 billion users worldwide; WhatsApp believes that the latest software should be used for maximum efficiency; as such, WhatsApp will stop working on older versions of phones as of 2021.
WhatsApp will only work with those android phones running the 4.0.3 operating system or newer, and for iPhones, it will be IOS9 and newer.
Certain android models, including Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Desire, and LG Optimus Black, will not have WhatsApp. When w go to the Apple realm, any iPhone model older than the iPhone 4 will not support WhatsApp. Also, all iPhones will need at least IOS 9 to run WhatsApp.
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What Are Some Alternatives To WhatsApp?
There are many alternatives to WhatsApp that have arguably more privacy when it comes to its user’s data. Let’s look at a few alternatives and their features and why you should consider switching to them.
The signal is a WhatsApp alternative, which focuses more on privacy as compared to other messaging apps. It is an encrypted app with lets you send messages and call just by using the Internet.
Its main focus is on privacy, which is checked regularly by independent experts.
Every app has its advantages and disadvantages, and the same is with Signal. Signal’s main focus and strength lie in its privacy, encrypted texts, calls, and even gif searches.
However, while Signal has great privacy, the chat backup and restore has much to be desired.
When you switch phones, it is easy to have your chats back on WhatsApp. When you use Signal, there are slightly more difficult steps to properly backup your new device’s chats.
Especially if you have an iPhone, the process does not always work. Many celebrities have endorsed Signal due to its privacy, such as Elon Musk and Edward Snowden.
Its end-to-end encryption was so advanced that eventually, WhatsApp adopted the same format. There are also additional security features available on Signals, such as a second password or biometric authentication.
Some Amazing Features of Signal
There are many other advantages of Signal such as
- It’s privacy
- Light application
- Self-destruct messages
- Amazing voice and video quality
- Free app
Signal has no difficult steps in either its installation or use; you just simply download the app; link it with your phone number, and voila, you’re done. It is just like other messaging applications.
Along with its easy installation, it is also is a considerably light application. It does not use many resources, memory, and CPU. Unlike other messaging apps, it does not need much space on your phone.
In Signal, you can also send messages that have an expiration date. In other messaging applications such as WhatsApp, it will often be stored forever once a message is sent.
In Signal, though, there can be an expiration date put, during which it will automatically delete the messages.
Signal does not store any of your data; it does not store your IP address, phone number, or anything else. They have no information about whom you called or when you called.
Signal only asks for your contacts to check if any of your contacts use Signal. Its end-to-end encryption is top quality, and according to many other experts, it is uncrackable.
Other messaging apps use end-to-end encryption but not to the extent of Signal.
Users of Signal also state that voice and video call quality is greater than that of WhatsApp. This is due to direct communication and calls not going through a server.
Signal also notifies you if an individual tries to take a screenshot of the conversation in addition to its already amazing privacy. You can even set up an extra password.
Some Disadvantages of Signal
The Signal does not have a wide audience; even if you download Signal, you will still have to use other apps as not all your friends may switch.
Thus you will have to balance between messaging on Signal and messaging on other apps. Signal also does not have as many features as WhatsApp or Telegram. Signal states that these extra features may reduce privacy thus are not available on Signal.
Telegram is another messaging app based in Russia. It boasts a user base of around 300 million. It is a cloud-based instant messaging app that was developed by two Russian brothers.
The app has a secret chat option as well as end-to-end encryption. It is quite popular, especially among the current generation, as it is more secure than WhatsApp and Facebook.
Telegram does collect IP addresses, device details, and more types of data. This type of data is stored for 12 months before permanent deletion.
Some Advantages of Telegram
There are many pros of Telegram; let’s take a look at just some.
- It has high security as well as a secret chat option. You can send and receive files up to 1000 MB.
- It has extremely fast messaging, and real-time support is available. Users can send pictures and audio along with messages.
- It has no ads and completely free. It also stores data and has unlimited cloud storage.
Some Disadvantages of Telegram
- We cannot easily know if the other person is online or offline, it does not have voice messages, and sometimes you have to open the app to receive messages properly.
- You cannot send multiple pictures at once, and on some phones, you cannot even upload pictures.
- If secret chat is not being used, those chats are not encrypted and can easily be seen by others.
- When you add your phone number, Telegram can then see all your contact information and send them to the server.
If you care solely about privacy and not about any app features, Signal may prove better for you; however, if you want better app features, then WhatsApp is ahead.
It may also be difficult for your whole social circle to switch over to Signal. However, if you truly value your privacy, it may be worth getting some of your friends onto Signal.
Telegram is another popular messaging app if you wish to leave WhatsApp. It has great security and a larger audience than other apps. Telegram may be the better choice for you and your friends.
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