Instant messaging platform WhatsApp regularly makes announcements about new features and upgraded safety and security. However, there are some drawbacks in WhatsApp that are not widely known, putting users at a high risk from spam and malware threats.
According to Business Today, there are five major drawbacks that WhatsApp needs to fix – Malware, backup messages not encrypted, hackers altering photos and videos, easily spreading false and fake news and the user’s status isn’t private.
Malware threats: WhatsApp users are vulnerable to malware threats via an infected link or file. A new malware called ‘Agent Smith’ alters WhatsApp and replaces it with a malicious update that serves ads. It is capable of hiding its icon from the phone’s launcher and can pose as WhatsApp to serve advertisements. This is just one of the possible ways the malware can use the affected device to send money back to the hackers, as per a typical pay-per-click system. The best way to avoid such malware is to use apps and services only from the official sources.
Not encrypted backup messages: End-to-end encryption does not work if the data is stored as a backup on Google Drive. WhatsApp had recently signed a pact with Google to allow its users to store messages on the search giants’ cloud storage offering.
Photos and videos not safe: A security flaw can allow potential hackers to alter photos, audio or video files. The vulnerability stemmed from how media files are stored in WhatsApp.
Fraud and fake news: In India particularly, WhatsApp was caught up in the midst of several incidences of violence that in the country during 2017 and 2018. Although, several measures to stop such news from spreading, WhatsApp has still fallen short of completely curbing it.
WhatsApp status not private: The Status feature on WhatsApp has been directly lifted from the one found on Instagram. Any person in your contact list can view your status. Although WhatsApp now gives users control over who can view their statuses, the whole process of picking and choosing people becomes cumbersome if the contact list is huge.