WhatsApp End to End Encryption has long been assumed to be 100% full proof. Most of us have also been relying on the WhatsApp encryption technology for keeping our chats secure. However, latest investigations by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Sushant Singh Rajput’s suspicious death case have given us a proof, why that might be a problem.
The popular messaging platform has long been rendered as a comparatively safer application. Its end to end encryption privacy claims further boosted user’s trust on the platform. But, several media outlets have widely reported that recovering deleted WhatsApp messages has also formed a big part of the NCB probe.
Thus, in an interesting turn of events, after drugs, the alleged mystery of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has now also raised concerns over user privacy particularly in case of the famed Facebook owned messaging platform. It is also a reminder that probably there is really no such thing as ‘non-hackable’ or ‘100% secure’ when it comes technology.
How the investigation agencies recover deleted WhatsApp Chats?
WhatsApp allows users to delete their chats permanently, but the latest NCB probe into Sushant Singh Rajput case proves that the messages can still be recovered. While it may have come as a surprise to many WhatsApp users, the phenomenon isn’t as much of mystery to cybersecurity experts.
While WhatsApp end-to-end encryption protects your conversations from being intercepted in transit, your messages can be accessed and read if the source devices are corrupted. News18 also notes in its report that WhatsApp allegedly keeps a log of your conversations locally on your device.
The report also quoted McAfee, a leading cyber security service provider adding that these local logs can then serve as “forensic traces” to log data which are often exploited by third party apps offering to recover deleted messages.
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Several investigation agencies such as the NCB in this case, also tend to leverage these logs as forensic traces to recover deleted messages. However, these logs are reportedly left unencrypted and thus possess a serious security threat. The logs can particularly prove to be harmful and compromising for users in case they are accessed by any malicious spyware tools or cyber criminals.
Do’s and Don’ts To Keep Your WhatsApp Chats Secure
There are definitely still ways to access your WhatsApp Chat. But, following are some of the precautions you can take to minimise risks of their falling into the wrong hands.
- Avoid unknown/suspicious links even if they come from your known contacts.
- Use two-factor verification and have a strong WhatsApp Pin. Also, add biometric authentication to restrict direct access by third party apps.
- Turn on your WhatsApp security notifications. It allows you to verify that your conversations are encrypted and also notifies in case any of your contact’s linked number or device changes.
- If ok, don’t backup on iCloud or Google Drive as it leaves your chats unsecured.
- Don’t export WhatsApp Chats. Unfortunately, WhatsApp end to end encryption is limited to its own platform and WhatsApp chats exported to your email are unencrypted.
- Delete the database file from WhatsApp folder to completely remove your chats before changing cellphones or in case you want to permanently delete your chats for any other reason.