WhatsApp Your Security

Internet & Security

WhatsApp Your Security

Do you remember way back in 2014 when Facebook bought WhatsApp for £13.7 million and promised not to share our details? Yep, they decided against that. In the last few weeks, WhatsApp has changed their terms and privacy policy for the first time since the deal. By agreeing to the updated terms, your information will not only be shared with Facebook but the entire Facebook family including companies like Instagram, Oculus, and LiveRail.

This change has been met with outrage due to WhatsApp consistently publicising their anti-advertising opinions and their direct refusal to collect personal data. This has made many customers question the reliability and safety of WhatsApp and ask themselves whether they can really rely on WhatsApp to not only protect their personal information such as phone number but also their conversation history.

WhatsApp has answered concerns by stating that they “won’t post or share your WhatsApp – with others, including Facebook.” They then went on to defend the use of advertising by stating that “we do not want you to have a spammy experience, you can manage these communications.” This information shows that WhatsApp, although expanding their privacy policy, still recognise the customers wants and refuses to jeopardise their customer base for extra money in advertising.

But why did they change their policy two years after the merger? They have argued that the change was necessary for a multitude of reasons one of which being to fight spam and abuse. But the main reason for the change is to coordinate more with Facebook, creating targeted ads within the Facebook services based on WhatsApp content. However, they have so far only claimed to be giving mobile numbers to Facebook which poses the question of how they can deliver product based suggestions and target ads based on a phone number?

But have no fear, there are still ways around this exposure that will protect your personal information. Two ways to be precise;

Which way you chose is dependent on whether you have agreed to the policy on the left. If you have not agreed to this policy and it pops up in the future, there is a very simple solution. Just click on the arrow (^) on the bottom left of the page underneath the agree button to read more about the policy. If you then scroll down to the bottom of that page there should be a tick box asking whether you want to share your information (picture below). Untick that box and click agree and your information will not be shared with Facebook or any other company.

Option two is for those of us who clicked agree unknowingly, just wanting to remove the pop up so we can go about our life and send our messages. You have 30 days from when you clicked agree to cancel it. To cancel it you simply go on the settings button in the bottom right corner of the WhatsApp application. You then click the box named “share my account info” (pictured on the right) so there is no longer a tick in there. This will undo your agreement to the change in policy whilst still allowing you to use WhatsApp normally.



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