How do you communicate more privately when you know the revolution will not be televised? When we were in China for a month our main form of communication was WhatApp. It allowed us to talk to family, business partners, writers, researchers and friends over Wifi securely and free.
Now this popular phone APP (WhatsApp) has made big news when they announced that they were providing end-to-end encryption for all of their one billion plus members.
This is super dope for people who like privacy like us over at Nation19 Magazine. The best part about this new feature is that WhatsApp users don’t have to do anything in order to take advantage of this new feature.
The first setting that you should enable, therefore, is the one that notifies you if a WhatsApp friend changes their device.
Why would you care? Well, because if someone removes the SIM card from your friend’s phone and uses it in another device, they could impersonate your friend on WhatsApp. Enabling a setting in WhatsApp will give you notice that you may be communicating with a fake imposter.
Here is what you do.
Go to the “Settings” icon at the bottom right of your WhatsApp screen, open up the Account settings area, and turn on the “Show Security Notifications” setting.
Hold on potna…you not finished yet. lol
The next time you are face-to-face with your WhatsApp friend, and you want to increase your WhatsApp security even more, here are the simple steps to do so.
First, make sure that WhatsApp has access to your camera. You may have already allowed this when you installed WhatsApp, but if you did not, it is an easy setting in your Applications area of your phone.
Next, open a conversation with your friend in WhatsApp and then select the person’s name at the top of the conversation. This will open the contact window for that person. Near the bottom of that screen you will see a setting for Encryption.
Tap on the encryption field, and you will be presented with a screen that displays a QR code as well as a 60-digit decimal code that represents the contents of that QR code.
At the bottom of the QR code screen, there is a link that will enable you to scan your friend’s code, and they can do the same for your code. This is why you need to allow camera access in WhatsApp, even if only temporarily.
That is all there is to it. Now, when you communicate with your friend, you can be more confident that they are who they say they are – although, of course, it’s always possible that the person you are speaking to has failed to keep a close eye on their smartphone or has failed to set a strong passcode.
In our view, you should tighten security like this with as many of your WhatsApp friends as possible.
WhatsApp and WeChat (China) are both great app to communicate with end-to-end encryption for all communications to so many people. For those of us who wish to have authenticity when communicating, WhatsApp has gone that extra step to ensure that as well.
Thats whats sup…oops we meant…thats WhatsApp!