WhatsApp just got a whole lot more secure.
All of the messages and calls made through the app are now fully encrypted on all its platforms, WhatsApp’s founders revealed Tuesday.
All users need to do to ensure their messages, calls and photos are fully encrypted is make sure they have the latest version of the app. The new security features also apply to WhatsApp’s Windows Phone, BlackBerry and feature phone apps.
The app will send users a notification once their conversations in the app become fully encrypted, and the lock icon will also appear in a chat’s preferences section.
WhatsApp has been working with Open Whisper Systems, a group that specializes in encrypting messaging platforms, for the past year. The organization, which makes the messaging app Signal, says it plans to work with other messaging platforms in the future to implement stronger encryption.
Though end-to-end encryption has been in the works for the past year, it’s become an increasingly important issue among tech companies in Silicon Valley in recent weeks.
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum was one of the first high profile CEOs in Silicon Valley to publicly affirm his support for Apple in its fight with the FBI over encryption.
Writing on WhatsApp’s blog Tuesday, Koum noted that encryption is “one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age.”
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about encrypted services and the work of law enforcement. While we recognize the important work of law enforcement in keeping people safe, efforts to weaken encryption risk exposing people’s information to abuse from cybercriminals, hackers, and rogue states.
Facebook is also reportedly looking into increasing encryption for Messenger. And Facebook isn’t the only social media company looking to step up its security features in the wake of Apple’s very public battle with the FBI over encryption. Snapchat and Google are also said to be working on increasing the security of messages sent through their platforms.
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