Reasons why you shouldn't use WhatsApp


Reasons why you shouldn't use WhatsApp

WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging applications in the world. Originally it was a nightmare in terms of privacy , but in recent years they have been improving as they have had great competition from messaging apps such as Telegram or Signar. However, there are still many reasons why you shouldn't use WhatsApp.

It may be the most used and that makes it easy to talk to anyone without installing another application: you can call your family by video call, but also talk to your boss, your friends or even someone you have sold something to on Wallapop . But that doesn't mean it's necessarily the best. Neither the most reliable nor the safest nor the most complete. There are many reasons or reasons why not to use WhatsApp and that we do not take into account: security, encryption, data ... We collect some of those that you should know and perhaps ignore.

It is owned by Facebook

WhatsApp has been owned by Facebook for more than three years. In that period of time they have tried to find ways to monetize the application, since they had to eliminate the payment system when free alternatives such as Telegram arrived. WhatsApp Business has been a smart way to get companies to contact users in exchange for paying to use the service.

However, Facebook also monetizes the data of the users of its platforms, using it not only for ads , but also to take part in studies (although everything always anonymized). Furthermore, Facebook often suffers from data breaches as well. Luckily, no massive and controversial leak has yet affected WhatsApp users, although that could be one of the reasons why we should not use WhatsApp or why we should be especially careful with the application. There are many privacy problems that Facebook has starred in and we would not like our conversations to come to light or all our data to be leaked.

Be careful with the data

Since April 2016, WhatsApp encrypts all messages end-to-end . Thanks to this, we are certain that no one on the road will be able to intercept the message and spy on it. However, there is data that Facebook does not encrypt and to which it has full access: metadata . For example, you can find out what time we send messages and to whom we send them. They can also deduce that you live in the same house throughout the year what its size is, as well as whether or not you live as a couple if you talk a lot with a person who later at night is in the same location as you.

In addition, just by installing the application, it stores data such as the IMEI of your mobile, what operator you have contracted, your approximate location, what applications you have installed, etc. We can easily see this, for example, when we are going to enter our telephone number for the first time, where the international code of our country appears (+91 in the case of India). Facebook for example has used phone numbers for personalized ads.

Vulnerabilities and security flaws

WhatsApp suffered six security breaches in 2019 , and three of them were very serious. The first allowed you to hack your mobile just by receiving a call by WhatsApp (it did not matter if you took it or not). The second vulnerability allowed that, just by receiving a GIF, an attacker could remotely execute code on our mobile. The third repeated the previous system, but in this case sending an MP4 file.

All these failures may seem accidental, but they paint more behind the back doors introduced by Facebook so that governments and spy agencies can access not only the content of the app, but of the entire mobile. These vulnerabilities are a risk for the mobile phone and another reason why not to use WhatsApp or, at least, to consider other similar applications as an alternative. In comparison, applications like Signal or Telegram have not had one of these security flaws that look like back doors.

Not everything is encrypted

The messages we send by Telegram or WhatsApp are encrypted, but the backup copies of the chats that are uploaded to platforms such as Google Drive or iCloud are not. This means that if you activate automatic backups in Google Drive, you are running a risk. But if you don't activate it, you could lose your chats. It is Google who has the encryption keys for the files, and in the event that Google is asked for access in a judicial process, the company has to give it. In the case of WhatsApp, it would not be possible for the company to give access to the messages because they do not have the encryption keys for the messages. A judicial process does not happen every afternoon and it is not usual that they will ask for access to your conversations, but keep in mind that the encryption is not complete.

In the case of Telegram or Signal, the companies never share the encryption keys with anyone. For example, Telegram is banned in Russia and Iran for it. WhatsApp is not prohibited in those countries.

Dependent multiplatform

WhatsApp currently depends exclusively on the mobile. You cannot open WhatsApp Web on your computer with your mobile phone turned off or if you have it without coverage, without WiFi or far from the computer. This requires having the smartphone connected to WiFi or data if we want to use it on a tablet or computer. This dependency for the multiplatform means that the battery of our mobile phone suffers, in addition to that many times the messages take time to arrive or we have constant disconnections.

Platforms such as Telegram connect users directly to servers regardless of the device from which it is done. Thanks to this, the mobile phone is only necessary to create the account.

Thus, WhatsApp stores all the chats on its servers, even the messages that we have deleted. This negatively affects our privacy, and the fact that the messages are saved on the servers should be a sign that we should be able to have real cross-platform messaging , which could include the app soon.

Not the best app

It may be the most popular, but it is not the only one, nor is it the best. The previous point takes us to Telegram and Signal . Currently there is nothing that WhatsApp allows that cannot be done with Telegram. The only problem we find in other applications is that not all your friends will have an account in other applications. And without an account you won't be able to call or talk to them. From there and overcoming that small inconvenience, everything is improvements using Telegram. Improvements such as privacy, security, file delivery, stability or cross-platform use.

  • In Telegram there is no limit of people for groups, but in WhatsApp there is that limitation, which is why many very large groups have decided to emigrate to the Russian app.
  • In Telegram you don't have to give your phone number so that someone can find you, just knowing your alias is enough. In addition, you can make no one see the phone number in the entire application, this in WhatsApp is not possible and anyone who will have a conversation with you can see it.
  • The files that Telegram lets share are up to 1.5 GB, well above what the Facebook-owned app allows us to share today.
  • Telegram has bots and this is already an advantage. Although it seems that WhatsApp will also get into this issue, Telegram currently has such an important development in this area that WhatsApp will find it difficult to match the Russian app in this regard at least in the short or medium term. It is enough to know if the full potential of Facebook would serve to equal forces when the messaging application
  • The level of customization that we can achieve in Telegram is well above the little that WhatsApp allows us to modify. In the Russian application we can even modify the shape of the chats, the color, the structure, although always within what they mark. Not even that, the background and little else in the Facebook app.

And not only Telegram, also Signal is one of the most secure, since for example it stores the encryption keys on users' devices, and never on servers. Also, if the password changes for a contact, the user is notified of it. WhatsApp also introduced this option in the app, but it is not activated by default, where the vast majority of users are sure that they have not bothered to activate it. To activate it you have to go to Settings - Account - Security, and they do not activate it by default precisely because they have no interest in users knowing this.

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