Facebook-owned instant messaging application WhatsApp has serious competitors, much more secure and respectful of your privacy. If you’ve taken the plunge and opted for an alternative messaging system, don’t forget to delete your WhatsApp account to erase all the data attached to it.
Why you should stop using WhatsApp
WhatsApp belongs to Facebook
This argument alone should be enough. End of the article!
Facebook has proven itself untrustworthy with its users’ personal data, either by selling it outright (e.g., Cambridge Analytica) or by leaking the data of tens of millions of user accounts due to poor or non-existent security practices.
WhatsApp collects way too much data
When you use WhatsApp, none of the metadata is encrypted when you send messages. And you can learn a lot about someone just from the metadata in the messages. WhatsApp knows, for example, when you chat and with whom. It has access to your address book and can read the memory of your smartphone. This metadata is then sent, stored and analyzed in order to complete the information that Facebook has on you and thus allow it to know more and more about you and your habits (in order to display targeted ads for example).
Your License To WhatsApp. In order to operate and provide our Services, you grant WhatsApp a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works of, display, and perform the information (including the content) that you upload, submit, store, send, or receive on or through our Services. [...]
The code is not open source
The open source code (as on Signal) can be analyzed by anyone to determine if the security measures are properly applied. On WhatsApp, this is impossible. With closed applications like WhatsApp, it is virtually impossible to review the code and see if encryption has been properly integrated. It is also impossible to see if there are backdoors, if WhatsApp is transcribing your conversations for storage and analysis, etc… And we can imagine the worst.
Your messages are not fully encrypted
While messages exchanged via WhatsApp are encrypted while in transit, it is not the same for messages stored locally on your phone. These are stored in clear text on your device and allow anyone who physically accesses your smartphone to read your messages without any difficulty.
Worse, all your conversations are by default saved on iCloud or Google Drive for example, without any encryption. This allows when you uninstall and reinstall the application, to restore the conversations. This also makes it much easier for the FBI to access your data (as reported by Slate). This point is stated in the application “Media files and messages you save are not protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption when in the Google Drive,” .
How do I permanently delete my WhatsApp account?
To permanently delete your WhatsApp account
Open WhatsApp. Press the "three dots", then pus options > Settings > Account > Delete my account. Enter your phone number in full international format and press DELETE MY ACCOUNT. Select a reason for deleting your account from the drop-down menu. Press DELETE MY ACCOUNT.
Whatsapp should no longer be on your phone.