WhatsApp has introduced end-to-end encryption for all users that have installed the latest update for its messaging app.
In a blogpost announcing the development, the firm said it has always striven to ensure its users data and communications are as secure as possible.
Full end-to-end encryption is a technological development that places WhatsApp at the forefront of protecting private data.
This is because anyone using the latest version of the app for either messaging, calls, or sending information such as photos, videos and other digital files, is encrypted by default.
The measure also applies to group chats between multiple users and the premise is based on the simple idea that only the recipient of any given message should be able to read it.
Therefore end-to-end encryption prevents cybercriminals, hackers or larger organisations from accessing the content of a WhatsApp message.
Messages are secured with a lock – and only the copies of the app owned by the users exchanging the messages will be granted the key for that lock. Each individual message is protected by a unique lock and key, so an account cannot be easily compromised.
All of this happens automatically, so there is no need to take particular action beyond installing the latest version of the app.
WhatsApp co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton said more data is digitised than ever before, so if action is not taken to protect it, then more private information could be exposed in the future.
“While WhatsApp is among the few communication platforms to build full end-to-end encryption that is on by default for everything you do, we expect that it will ultimately represent the future of personal communication,” they commented.
“More than a billion people are using WhatsApp to stay in touch with their friends and family all over the world. And now, every single one of those people can talk freely and securely.”