Encryption has become a hot topic the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the US asked (and was denied by) Apple to grant access to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
Now, popular messaging app, WhatsApp has announced that all your WhatsApp messages will be fully end-to-end encrypted, making the service the world-leader in encryption. End-to-end encryption, in simple terms, means that the messages you send and receive via WhatsApp can only be read and viewed by you (the sender) and your friends and family (the receiver) and vice versa. This means that no one can get to the messages, including cyber criminals, cyber stalkers, hackers or even oppressive law enforcement regimes. In a blog post, the company explains in simple terms what end-to-end encryption will mean for its users of the popular messaging app:
If you’re interested in learning more about how end-to-end encryption works, you can read about it here. But all you need to know is that end-to-end encrypted messages can only be read by the recipients you intend. And if you’re using the latest version of WhatsApp, you don’t have to do a thing to encrypt your messages: end-to-end encryption is on by default and all the time.
This means that users won’t need to do anything extra, as the default setting on the Facebook-owned messaging service will be to offer end-to-end encryption on all messages sent and received.
The company goes on to explain its decision to offer end-to-end encryption on the messages sent and received via the service:
We live in a world where more of our data is digitized than ever before. Every day we see stories about sensitive records being improperly accessed or stolen. And if nothing is done, more of people’s digital information and communication will be vulnerable to attack in the years to come. Fortunately, end-to-end encryption protects us from these vulnerabilities.
Encryption is one of the most important tools governments, companies, and individuals have to promote safety and security in the new digital age.
WhatsApp might be the leader currently in offering full end-to-end encrypted messages, but hopefully this move by the popular messaging service will signal a shift in the digitally age and protecting our privacy.