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How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works, What you need to know

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You might be wondering what’s with the new WhatsApp update! The popular online messaging service, WhatsApp has introduced a feature to be known as ‘end-to-end encryption’. What does it mean? How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works? Here’s what you need to know about this new update in WhatsApp. The end-to-end encryption lets the user encrypt the data such as text messages, images, audio and video clips, calls, and etc. That means your data is now secured from hackers and intruders.

How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works, What you need to know (5)

WhatsApp uses an advanced encryption technology to secure your data and prevent any hackers from accessing your privacy before you send it to your contacts. WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging service to feature end-to-end encryption, Telegram also comes with such type of encryption by a feature called secret chat. Telegram has an option to turn on end-to-end encryption by opening a secret chat to the contact. However, unlike Telegram, WhatsApp has it enabled by default and it stays on always without letting the users turning it off. Hence, WhatsApp gives a better and convenient security feature for their users.

Because WhatsApp provides an end-to-end encryption for their users, it will ensure that all the data including messages, images, audios, videos, calls, and etc. sent via WhatsApp cannot be read by anyone that includes being WhatsApp staff itself, hackers/intruders, and oppressive regimes.

How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works

When you send a message to your friend, what exactly happens is, Whatsapp, by using its encryption technology, secures all your data while transferring over the internet. As you know when anything is transferred over the internet can be attacked by anything and who knows your messages are being read by someone else once they get it, your precious data may leak through the internet protocols if they are unsecured. Remember iCloud hack?

How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works, What you need to know (2)

The basic idea here is when you send a message, the only person to read it is the one you have sent to. If it’s a group, people who are in the group can only read the message. The private chats you make appears to be like a face-to-face conversation.

To know more about WhatsApp encryption in deep, here’s what the Technical White Paper says.

To encrypt your WhatsApp messages, you don’t have to do anything, WhatsApp takes care of everything by itself.

How to check if WhatsApp end-to-end encryption is working

In order to see if the encryption feature works, make sure that you have your WhatsApp updated to its latest version. You can check if the data you send over WhatsApp is encrypted by scanning a QR Code.

How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works

Open WhatsApp and select any contact for sending messages.

You will see a message that says “Messages you send to this chat and calls are now secured with end-to-end encryption. Tap for more info.”

Tap that message and verify that your encryption works or not.

How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works, What you need to know (4)

Now you and the person to whom you are sending messages has to be together to scan the QR codes.

Scan the code that’s shown on your contact’s phone or show them your code and ask them to scan yours to verify if the chat is secured with WhatsApp end-to-end encryption. Alternately, you have the number below the QR Code which you can compare to verify.

A green tick mark states that your conversation over WhatsApp is secured.

How WhatsApp end-to-end encryption works, What you need to know (3)

Try it yourself and see if you get green tick mark while you chat over WhatsApp and verify the WhatsApp end-to-end encryption. If you have any queries about our post, ask us in the comments.

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