WhatsApp announced that on February 8th, 2021 it will require all users to accept it’s new security policy which will share your information with parent company Facebook or vice versa. If you don’t accept it, you won’t be able to use the app anymore… So what is exactly happening? Should you be worried? 

Here are a few things you should know about this new update:

  •  When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, it began the transition to encrypting messages, this made it harder for law-enforcement, hackers or other websites to access your messages.

Just a few months later after getting record-breaking 2 billion users in 2020, WhatsApp began rolling out new security policies. The latest update in July 2020 gave users the option to opt-out of information sharing with Facebook, however this will no longer be an option in February 2021.

  • Important changes to this update include sharing account details with Facebook, your phone number, transaction data, IP address among other things.
  • Through the years, WhatsApp has been working to improve usability for WhatsApp for business, leading many to believe that it’s only a matter of time until the signature Facebook monetization strategy falls into place.
  • WhatsApp will still continue to use end-to-end encryption so your messages will still be safe from prying eyes. However, this does not apply to messages sent to businesses as the privacy policy of the third party business might kick in and not only will they be able to access your messages but also your personal information.

For those who really enjoy using WhatsApp but want to avoid sharing your personal information with third party providers here are a few tips:

1- Use a different phone number for your Facebook account.

2- Turn off geotagging on your mobile phone.

3- Avoid messaging companies that use WhatsApp business through the app.

If you are still worried about how WhatsApp might use your data, the good news is that there are a few alternatives that you can use such as Telegram, Wire, Signal and Line.