Privacy and Security
WhatsApp help you stay in touch with friends, share vital information during natural disasters, reconnect with separated families, or seek a better life. Some of your most personal moments are shared with WhatsApp, which is why WhatsApp built end-to-end encryption into the latest versions of their app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands.
Security by Default
WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message use the latest versions of our app. Many messaging apps only encrypt messages between you and them, but WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.
WhatsApp Calling lets you talk to your friends and family, even if they’re in another country. Just like your messages, WhatsApp calls are end-to-end encrypted so WhatsApp and third parties can’t listen to them.
Messages that Stay with You
Your messages should be in your hands. That’s why WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages on our servers once we deliver them, and end-to-end encryption means that WhatsApp and third parties can’t read them anyway.
See for Yourself
WhatsApp lets you check whether the calls you make and messages you send are end-to-end encrypted. Simply look for the indicator in contact info or group info.
Important: End-to-end encryption is always activated, provided all parties are using the latest version of WhatsApp. There is no way to turn off end-to-end encryption.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the “Verify security code” screen in my contact info/group info?
Each of your chats has its own security code used to verify that your calls and the messages you send to that chat are end-to-end encrypted.
Note: The verification process is optional and is used only to confirm that the messages you send are end-to-end encrypted.
This code can be found in the contact info/group info screen, both as a QR code and a 60-digit number. These codes are unique to each chat and can be compared between people in each chat to verify that the messages you send to the chat are end-to-end encrypted. Security codes are just visible versions of the special key shared between you – and don’t worry, it’s not the actual key itself, that’s always kept secret.
- Open the chat.
- Tap on the name of the contact or group to open the contact info/group info screen.
- Tap Encryption to view the QR code and 60-digit number.
If you and your contact are physically next to each other, one of you can scan the other’s QR code or visually compare the 60-digit number. If you scan the QR code, and the code is indeed the same, a green checkmark will appear. Since they match, you can be sure no one is intercepting your messages or calls.
If the codes do not match, it’s likely you’re scanning the code of a different contact, or a different phone number. If your contact has recently reinstalled WhatsApp, or switched devices, we recommend you refresh the code by sending them a new message and then scanning the code.
If you and your contact are not physically near each other, you can send them the 60-digit number. For Android, iPhone and Windows Phone, you can use the Share button from the QR code/60-digit number screen to send the 60-digit number via SMS, email, etc.
I received a notification indicating that my contact’s security code has changed. What does this mean?
Each of your chats has its own security code used to verify that your calls and the messages you send to that chat are end-to-end encrypted. This code can be found in the contact info/group info screen, both as a QR code and a 60-digit number. These codes are unique to each chat and can be compared between people in each chat to verify that the messages you send to the chat are end-to-end encrypted. Security codes are just visible versions of the special key shared between you – and don’t worry, it’s not the actual key itself, that’s always kept secret.
At times, the security codes used in end-to-end encryption may change. This is likely because someone reinstalled WhatsApp or switched phones.
Important: You and your contacts must be using the latest available version of WhatsApp for end-to-end encryption to be activated.
To receive notifications when security codes change:
- Open WhatsApp and tap on Settings.
- Tap Account and select Security.
- From here, you can enable security notifications by selecting Show security notifications.
Note: Your calls and the messages you send are end-to-end encrypted regardless of this setting, when possible.
Keep in mind that you can always verify that a contact’s security code is legitimate.
I’m seeing that the messages I send aren’t encrypted
It’s possible that you tap on Encryption in the contact info/group info screen and receive a message that the messages you send are not end-to-end encrypted. If this is the case, it’s likely that you or the person you’re chatting with needs to update to the latest version of WhatsApp. Once all parties in a group, or the person you’re messaging in an individual chat, have updated to the latest version of WhatsApp, a small indicator will appear in the chat informing you that the messages in your chat are end-to-end encrypted.
Source- whatsapp.com and its Press Releases