WhatsApp gets a fair share of criticism when compared to other similar messaging services due to its lack of protection systems to handle the risk of your chats being intercepted by third parties. To fix this, WhatsApp has now secured your chats with end-to-end encryption, along with a new system that lets you check if it’s running. Although, for these features to be activated, you’ll have to have the latest update installed for Android. Remember that old saying? Better late than never.
While there’s really no such thing as 100% security, it’s true that this new safety measure is completely vital these days. Essentially, what this kind of encryption does is secure your conversations with a password that only you and the person you’re chatting with will be able to see. This code is individual and private, so no one will be able to extract your content without knowing this key, or rather that’s the idea anyway.
Whether or not you update the app, it’ll automatically start encrypting your conversations. Although, if you download the latest version, you’ll receive a message informing you that your conversations are now encrypted, and it’ll show you how to verify. To check if your messages are safe, all you’ll have to do is compare the 12 blocks of 5 digit codes that appears on your screen with the person you’re chatting with. From there you’ll also have the option to scan a QR code that appears on the same screen. If both are the same, you’re safe.
Even though verification via QR code seems more like a marketing gimmick than an actual safety check, any security improvements WhatsApp can make, are a really good idea. Especially when you compare it to other much safer messaging services like Telegram or Signal Private Messenger which have already had these kinds of security measures since the beginning.
More information | WhatsApp Official Blog