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WhatsApp encryption explained: What is encryption?
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 smart phone 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.