WhatsApp announced on Tuesday that it has completed the full end-to-end encryption rollout on its platform as well as across all mobile platforms where its apps are available. It almost took a year and a half for the tech giant to offer this service, which now has over 1 billion active monthly users. By the way, it becomes the second most popular social network after Facebook – 1.5 billion users, and it is owned by Facebook, though.
From now on when you and your contacts use the latest version of the app, every call you make, and every message, photo, video, file, and voice message you send, is end-to-end encrypted by default, including group chats. “This includes chats, group chats, attachments, voice notes, and voice calls across Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, Nokia S40, Nokia S60, Blackberry, and BB10,” it wrote. “Users running the most recent versions of WhatsApp on any platform now get the full end to end encryption for every message they send and every WhatsApp call they make when communicating with each other.”
To put it in a simple way, when you send a message (text or video or whatever it may be) to a person or a group, only that person or members of that group can read the message. None other than the intended person can see the message, not hackers, not governments, not cyber criminals and not even WhatsApp. End-to-End encryption makes your messages secure and private, just like a face-to-face conversation.
WhatsApp also doesn’t store your messages on their servers, so it makes government request to retrieve them impossible, however, by its default design even WhatsApp can’t decrypt your communications. However, if you don’t want to be trapped now on, you should have the latest version of the app and also, your recipient should have the latest version in order to take the advantage of this feature. Either you or your recipient doesn’t have the latest version, the messages will not be encrypted. That’s why WhatsApp will notify you when your communications become end-to-end encrypted. This will show up as a notice in your conversation screens.
WhatsApp users will also be able to confirm the person they are chatting with is the person they think it is, rather than an imposter performing a man-in-the-middle attack, by verifying the authenticity of the encryption session via scanning a QR code or reading aloud a number string.