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News18 » Tech
1-min read

Why WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption is more secure than in Apple's iMessage

Apple also uses end-to-end encryption for its iMessage service, but WhatsApp is a step ahead.


Updated:April 7, 2016, 10:47 AM IST
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WhatsApp security
After introducing end-to-end encryption in mobile chats last year, WhatsApp has quietly added new security features to its iCloud backup feature.

There has been much buzz about WhatsApp rolling out full end-to-end encryption for its billion plus users around the world. This means that all WhatsApp messages will now be accessible only to the sender and recipient, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

While this development has privacy advocates and human rights pleased, security agencies are concerned that it could be misused by anti- national elements for achieving their nefarious designs.

Apple also uses end-to-end encryption for its iMessage service but WhatsApp's user numbers are far greater than that of iMessage (which is limited to iPhones) and therefore the recent changes affect a larger set of users.

WhatsApp's method of end-to-end encryption is said to be more secure than iMessage's because WhatsApp also provides a security code that senders and recipients can use to verify a message came from someone they know — and not from a hacker posing as a friend.

Also many iMessage users back up their messages on Apple's iCloud service. This negates end-to-end encryption as Apple retains the encryption keys for the iCloud backup and not the user. WhatsApp also has a feature that allows messages to be backed up on Google Drive, but that is still not widely used.

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