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Is WhatsApp Safe? Main Security Issues

Last updated: April 18, 2024 11 min read
Is WhatsApp Safe Main Security Issuess

WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for the privacy of messages, but worries about data sharing with Facebook have triggered discussions about user security. This article delves into the depth of WhatsApp’s privacy features to address the delicate balance between convenience and data protection in the digital age.

Although WhatsApp, the Meta-owned private messaging service, is an easy way to stay in touch with loved ones via text and video calls, there are still security risks associated with the app, such as malware, data sharing, and scams. Over two billion people use the messaging app WhatsApp. WhatsApp employs end-to-end encryption, which is a secure method. But is the app safe to use? Let’s find out!

Wathsapp Logo

WhatsApp is the most widely used and active mobile messenger app, with over 2 billion monthly active users. Because software becomes more vulnerable when it becomes popular, there’s a valid reason to question whether using WhatsApp is risky or safe. The point is that all messaging systems have vulnerabilities. Despite this, WhatsApp’s integrated end-to-end encryption makes it a widely regarded secure messaging app. This article examines Whatsapp’s security, the threats users face, and secure messages with the app.

Is WhatsApp Secure?


End-to-end encryption is a feature WhatsApp uses to transfer data from sender to recipient. Is it safe to use WhatsApp? Yes, texts sent using the messaging app will remain secure during transmission, making them seen only by the sender and the recipient. The same security protects photos sent via WhatsApp and audio and video calls.

No one can read an end-to-end encrypted message while it’s in transit. Only the sender and the receiver can see it because WhatsApp scrambles it into invisible code while in transit. End-to-end encryption is not restricted to the Whatsapp messaging app. This feature is also available in other messaging apps, like Signal and Telegram. However, Whatsapp is certainly the most popular service with this kind of security. Now, let’s examine Whatsapp’s security in more detail, from its capacity to prevent users from hackers to its suitability for kids.

Is WhatsApp Safe from Hackers?

Is WhatsApp Safe from Hackers

Make sure that you are safe from hackers when downloading WhatsApp. However, the good thing is that end-to-end encryption saves your messages from third-party attacks.

Hackers could still access your account, though, if they manage to decipher your password. The brute-forcing software used by hackers may take only a few seconds to crack a password if you choose one that is weak and simple to guess. A complex password with ten characters or more is necessary for security purposes.

Additionally, you can enable two-factor authentication on your WhatsApp, making it much more difficult for attackers to access your account information. Although it is not required, we strongly advise setting up two-step verification.

Can I Send Private Photos Using WhatsApp?

Can I Send Private Photos Using WhatsApp

Sending sensitive pictures could make you anxious since you don’t want them to fall into the wrong hands. WhatsApp employs encryption to ensure that only the intended receiver can view the content of your messages, including photographs. The photographs you send are not even accessible to WhatsApp itself. 

Using Whatsapp’s “view once media” option, which only allows the recipient to view a photo once before it disappears, is another way you can further protect your private pictures. This feature doesn’t let the receiver take a screenshot of photos and messages before they disappear in the latest version of Whatsapp.

Even though WhatsApp provides security, it’s always a good idea to give sending sensitive photos some serious thought. It’s possible that the recipient is not as reliable as you believe. The possibility that they might turn your images into revenge porn is one of the hazards.

Is WhatsApp Secure for Kids?


Just like any other messaging app, WhatsApp is safe for kids to use. The app is secure and can assist children in maintaining contact with their parents and friends. However, just like with any other messaging app, kids can still become the target of strangers, cyber bullies, and WhatsApp scammers. To put your kids ahead of the game and help them avoid problems, you must talk to them about the risks involved. 

Kids may also benefit from using the WhatsApp web interface rather than a mobile app. Consequently, when kids use the service on a family computer, parents will find it easier to keep an eye on them and discipline any risky behavior. However, if you must give your phone to a child, ensure you know how to lock the screen for children beforehand.

Issues with WhatsApp’s Safety

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Users should be aware of certain security and privacy issues with WhatsApp:

Privacy Concerns

Users have good reason to be wary about their privacy settings because Meta owns WhatsApp, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. In 2021, Meta changed WhatsApp’s privacy policy to allow for the sharing of more user data, underscoring the company’s strong relationship with the notoriously data-hungry tech giant. Given that WhatsApp is a free service, believing it will profit from your data rather than put your privacy first makes sense.

Phishing Scams

WhatsApp is frequently used for phishing attacks, just like any other messaging app. Scammers send links to prospective victims who have the potential to infect their devices with malware as part of these schemes. Typically, the hacker poses as a reliable contact and may even use a friend’s or relative’s account. A server that installs malware on your device will run after clicking the link.

Malware Exploits

Several malware exploits have targeted WhatsApp over the last few years. 2019 saw the discovery of an app bug that let hackers infect users’ devices with malware. It appears that the Israeli company NSO Group developed the malware. WhatsApp resolved a bug allowing hackers to use video calls to infect victims’ devices with malware in 2022. The fact that the bug is no longer an issue does not change the danger malware poses to WhatsApp users.

How to Use WhatsApp Securely?


Even though end-to-end encryption protects calls and messages, there are other things you can do to improve the app’s overall security.

Be cautious when you receive links in WhatsApp messages from people. Verify that the sender is someone you know and they are using their account. The best defense against cybercriminals’ attempts to trick you and download malware is to avoid message links. You should consider installing malware protection to defend your device against these attacks.

Enable Two-step Verification

Using two-step verification, you can secure your account with a private numerical pin and a strong password. Even if a hacker can decipher your account’s password, he will require Your PIN to access it. You should always enable two-step verification, even with a very strong password, for added security.

Use Strong Passwords

No matter how great is WhatsApp’s encryption, you can only keep your messages private using strong passwords. A short phrase is easier to remember but also simpler to decipher. Use lengthy, intricate passwords that combine letters, numbers, and symbols but don’t contain any words. A strong password should have ten characters or more. Length is important. Don’t know how to set up a strong password? Don’t worry! ExtremeVPN offers a password generator tool that will help you to create a strong password.

Use a VPN


WhatsApp users have the option to communicate privately. It so happens that authoritarian and repressive regimes dislike it when their people have any freedom of speech or privacy. As a result, the app’s use is not allowed in nations like China, Syria, and North Korea, which employ strict internet censorship.

When you use a VPN server, it changes your virtual location. Furthermore, ExtremeVPN’s obfuscated servers conceal that you’re using a VPN. Consequently, even in nations with harsh internet regulations, you can use WhatsApp and enjoy unrestricted communication.

It’s good that WhatsApp encrypts your messages and calls. However, ExtremeVPN uses industry-leading AES-256 encryption to encrypt all data leaving your device. It indicates that each application and website you use has a private and secure connection. With over 6500 servers spread across 78 countries, ExtremeVPN offers multiple locations in some countries. It implies that you will always be able to connect to a nearby quick and empty server.

Like WhatsApp, we support the privacy of your online activities. We have a rigorous no-logs policy to guarantee that we don’t gather or retain any information about your activities while you’re using ExtremeVPN.

Use these WhatsApp Privacy Features

Use these WhatsApp Privacy Features
  1. Hide Data such as read receipts, your profile picture, your status, your last check on your chat, and whether you are currently online. You can access all these features in your app settings and hide your important information that can give people hints about your appearance.
  2. View once media prevents recipients from taking a screenshot after opening it.
  3. Chat lock is a feature that allows you to password-protect chats you want to keep more private. You must use device authentication to unlock these chats before you can send or read messages within them.
  4. You can set disappearing messages after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days.


To conclude, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to offer some privacy protection for calls and messages. But one must always exercise caution when it comes to potential security risks. Switching to two-factor authentication and being cautious with personal information will help you stay ahead of new developments. Considering Internet safety is important, you should select a trustworthy VPN, like ExtremeVPN, to safeguard your online privacy and personal data. Users can contribute to the safest and most secure online experience by taking these safety measures.


Is it safe to talk to strangers on WhatsApp? Up
WhatsApp does not authenticate identities or ensure that those you interact with are trustworthy, even though it offers privacy and security features. It’s risky to converse with strangers you receive messages from on WhatsApp because there’s a good chance they’re con artists looking to steal your data or con you. Hence, it’s best to ignore strangers.
Is WhatsApp safe for online dating? Up
It is generally accepted wisdom to continue talking on dating apps instead of switching to WhatsApp, at least until you are certain you can rely on the other person. This is because dating apps enable you to report or ban other users and block potentially harmful links. Although you can hide some of this information in the app’s settings, when you communicate on WhatsApp with a person you met through online dating, you are disclosing your phone number, which presents some privacy risks, along with additional data like whether you are online. Nonetheless, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption will shield your chats from prying eyes.
Is WhatsApp safe from the government? Up
Because WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, only the sender and the receiver can access the encrypted content of your calls, messages, images, and videos. Because of this, encryption protects your messages from WhatsApp or any other third party, including governments. Nonetheless, governments may use legal procedures like subpoenas or warrants to obtain information or data from WhatsApp.
Is WhatsApp safe for kids? Up
The terms of service for WhatsApp state that it is only intended for users aged 16 or older. WhatsApp is a messaging app; it lacks features and parental controls designed with kids in mind. Although children’s messages on WhatsApp are secure, there are other issues when kids use chat apps without adult supervision. It would be challenging for parents to monitor who their children are chatting with and what material they access if they have a personal WhatsApp account. Without your knowledge, they might experience harassment or cyberbullying.
Does a VPN work with WhatsApp? Up
Yes, WhatsApp and VPNs are compatible. It strengthens the encryption layer that WhatsApp already has. Additionally, a VPN protects and encrypts all your traffic — not just WhatsApp messages. As a result, it’s wise always to have the ExtremeVPN connection open when using WhatsApp.
Is WhatsApp safe for sending private photos? Up
Yes, WhatsApp is generally safe for sending private photos due to its end-to-end encryption. But make sure your app is updated, you use strong passwords, and practice good device security.

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About the Author

Samuel is a freelance journalist with over a decade's experience in the VPN industry and digital mar...
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