Anyone who uses WhatsApp will know how easy it is to use. That is because they have made it as user friendly as possible, but with ease of use comes a trade-off of security and privacy.
You either have easy to use or secure; it is a sliding scale between the two!
The way WhatsApp works, is that it ties your account to your phone number. Your device and their servers will have a set of encryption keys that make it secure to communicate with them. Now the problem comes when you change your phone number. What happens to your old phone number? Well someone else will likely get it because phone providers recycle numbers. Can you see where this is going? The new owner of your phone number will now have access to at least some of your messages when they sign in to WhatsApp with their new phone number (your old number) or vice versa. It is reported that they do not necessarily have full access to everything but they can have enough access to find out a lot about you.
There is apparently a way to prevent this and that means reading their help section and taking the appropriate action to make sure that this does not happen to you. Most people of course do not give it a second thought, that they may even have to do something, they just assume that everything is secure.
So if you change phone numbers make sure you ready their help section about transferring phone numbers to prevent any leakage of your messages to the new owner of the number.
Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp have said that they are aware of the issue but as there is help in the documentation they are not going to do anything about it. With it being so easy to use in all other respects, it seems strange that they will not make this easy; however it is exactly because of this easy to use feature that allows the flaw to be present.
We suggest not using anything from the Facebook guys but understand why people, especially business do. Although we hear on the grapevine that their user base is starting to move away to newer platforms such as Instagram, which has recently passed 1 billion users. Guess who owns Instagram; yes that’s right, Facebook. Let’s hope they learn from their mistakes with Facebook, WhatsApp, ConnectU, Friendster, etc.; in total the 77 acquisitions they have made.
CritchCorp Computers Ltd