WhatsApp Inc. is one of several companies that deals in social media messaging; allowing its users to interact with one another via their phone numbers. The company is owned by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, and CEO, who also owns popular photo app, Instagram.
Since his acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, there have been efforts to link all three together, to ensure that one can easily find contacts from one app, on another. Essentially creating a form of family between Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
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Privacy Concerns surrounding Instant Messaging Application, Whatsapp
This has sparked outrage from several experts and regular users as this new policy means the following:
- Now, WhatsApp is considered the owner of all user data, and the users have no control over the sharing of their information with a third-party app.
- It also means that the user metadata – which consists of everything aside from text messages, can now be viewed, meaning that there is round-the-clock supervision of the person’s online activities.
- This policy further presents users with a “take it or leave it” situation, meaning that all those who are not in agreement with the policy have to quit WhatsApp before the 8th of February.
While WhatsApp explains in detail the implications of this new policy, and how the monitoring and transfer of user information will only be used in helping the service serve the users better, users are still at the risk of that information being traded outside the “family”.
Best Privacy-Centric Alternatives Apps for Whatsapp
Although it is unlikely for this to occur, users in countries like India, and many African countries that have little or no data protection laws, run the risk of WhatsApp selling their information without repercussions.
If you are still unsure of the new policy, there are a couple of options available for you to explore to ensure that you can still be in contact with family and friends while remaining secure.
- Use Other Applications
Telegram is also another good choice, ranking 4th on the list of most secure applications. Having only 200 million active users, it is more secure, even having the option for Private messages that self-destruct after a given time. Threema, Wire, and Signal are all more secure but less popular, making it unlikely for anyone to connect with all of their friends through their platforms.
- Other ways to stay private
You can protect yourself by employing privacy-focused browsers like Brave and Mozilla Firefox, both of which were ranked no 1 on the list of secure browsers as they do not collect any data regarding your online activity, blocking trackers in the process. It is also possible to block ISP or government monitoring by encrypting your traffic with a VPN. The private and secure tunnel gives you control over who you expose your data to.
If you were a fan of TurboVPN and wanted to look for good alternatives to the TurboVPN app that works to keep your privacy safe. Here is a list of the best alternatives to the app.
WhatsApp is undoubtedly the most popular social media messaging app, as a recent report published shows that there are over 2 billion active users on WhatsApp across 180 different countries.
Many people have gotten accustomed to contacting people via the WhatsApp platform, so leaving for another app would be difficult. However, if you are still paranoid about your information being shared between external parties, the above tips can be used to protect yourself.