WhatsApp’s the one mainstream messaging platform that prides itself on automatic end-to-end encryption on all messages and calls. Now its parent company, Facebook, has announced that it’s adding that same security functionality to its Messenger platform — specifically for voice and video calls.
Messenger’s bulking up security. Keen?
Encryption brings an added level of security to any communication that occurs over a digital platform — it enables only the sender and receiver (and possibly someone peeking over a shoulder) to read the content. The messages (or calls) don’t live on a server and will need to be decrypted to be viewed otherwise.
When it comes to Messenger’s update, however, there is one catch: it’s not enabled by default like you’ll find on WhatsApp.
Users interested in using the feature for calls or video calls will need to head into settings and enable end-to-end encryption for calls themselves. This means your calls through the platform (we’re not sure who still calls via Facebook, but okay) are vulnerable to data leaks if you don’t switch the feature on.
The platform’s chats are equally unencrypted unless you turn the feature on — this is called ‘Secret Chats’ in the app.
According to Mashable, Facebook is also testing an encryption feature for group cuts, and it’s picked up mention of a similar thing planned for personal DMs in Instagram — so that may be next on the cards.