WhatsApp encrypting:Here are things you need to know

1) The App
The end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message are using the latest versions of the app. That means you BOTH need to have updated the app.

2) It happens automatically
You won't need to turn on any settings or set up 'secret chats'. So long as you've completed the above, this should all happen automatically.

3) It's not just messages
It won't only secure your messages. Videos, photos even calls and group chats sent over Whatsapp will get the end-to-end encyrption to ensure third parties can't listen in.

4) No Storage
To add to the privacy level, WhatsApp has said it won't store your messages on its servers once they are delivered. Because of end-to-end encryption WhatsApp and third parties can't read them anyway.

5) Every message has a lock
Your messages are secured with their very own unique lock and key. But what does this mean? Basically that only you and the person you're sending the message to have the special key needed to unlock the message and read it.

6) Double-check
You may have already seen this message pop up:

This is because WhatsApp lets you check whether the calls you make and messages you send are indeed end-to-end encrypted. Simply look for the indicator in contact info or group info.

7) Why did they do it
So the question begs, why did Whatsapp go down this route? The Facebook-owned mobile application with one billion users worldwide made the announcement following weeks of intense debate over efforts by US authorities to compel Apple to help break into an encrypted iPhone.

8) The move has been criticised
Not everyone is happy with Whatsapp encryption. It has unleashed criticism in law enforcement circles claiming this creates "warrant-proof" spaces for criminals and others. US Congress is expected to consider legislation which would require technology firms to retain "keys" that could retrieve data in a criminal investigation, with a court order. Similar measures are under consideration in Britain and France.

9) But others welcomed it

A broad coalition of technology companies and activists have argued against any encryption rules that would allow "special access" for law enforcement, claiming these would be vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers or repressive governments. Tanya O'Carroll of Amnesty International welcomed the move, calling it "a major boost for people's ability to express themselves and communicate without fear."
 
Here is how it will affect you:
 
Messages
Nobody (not even WhatsApp) will be able to access your messages. If you lose your phone, WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages on their servers.
 
Privacy
Your calls, photos and videos are free from prying eyes. This means that while no-one can see your messages, you should still be aware that malicious third party apps that can record audio and screen shots can lift your data from your phone.
WhatsApp has enabled a security setting which allows you to receive notifications when a contact’s security code has changed, but it’s turned off by default.
 
Migration
You can still move your account to a new phone or new number, but for a number, you have to ensure that it’s changed on your old phone.
 
Backup
Because of the new policy, backups of your messages will be directed to your Google Drive account over Wi-Fi by default. You can also manually backup your data.
 
Sharing chats
You can still send chats via email and but be aware that the emailed chat is saved in plain text, making it vulnerable to criminals.
 
Photos and video
Despite the encryption, WhatsApp images and video will still show up in your phone’s galleries. You can hide them on some phones by using the show/hide albums button. You can also use a File Explorer and create a .nomedia file in the WhatsApp images folder on your phone to hide them.
 
 
Encryption is the scrambling of messages from the sender on their journey to the recipient, largely to discourage the interception and reading of those messages by other parties.
This concept dates back thousands of years to coded written message sending, but now, modern forms of communication can be encrypted automatically with complex coding.
 
Thanks to the smartphone revolution, we now send and receive an awful lot more data between devices. All this data, be it voice calls, text messages or mobile data, is managed by whichever service provider whose service you are using. Whether or not this data is encrypted varies depending on the policy of the company providing the service.
 
For example, voice calls and text messages are handled by your mobile operator. This operator also provides your 3G or 4G connection to the Internet on your smartphone, but they don’t encrypt all the services you use.
 
If you tend to message via WhatsApp rather than text message, your mobile operator is not responsible for encrypting that WhatsApp data – it merely provides you with your connection to the wider Internet, the connection that allows apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter to send messages all over the world. 

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