Last updated on April 25th, 2020
So, considering that it’s the second-biggest social media platform after Facebook, most of you must be already using it.
In this article, I’m going highlight a few reasons as to why you should stop using WhatsApp right away.
7 Reasons Why You Should Probably Uninstall WhatsApp
1. Facebook Owns WhatsApp
Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars in 2014.
But, unfortunately, Facebook is highly criticized for its security and privacy practices.
If you’re curious, you can read the timeline of Facebook’s privacy issues to only realize that Facebook is one of the worst companies that you can trust to keep your personal information private.
Don’t believe me?
WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian left $850 Million behind with his decision to leave Facebook and also admitted that he was guilty of selling WhatsApp and putting user’s privacy at risk.
Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Brian Acton said in an interview with Forbes:
“At the end of the day, I sold my company,” Acton says. “I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”
Not just that, Facebook was involved in one of the biggest data scandal ever. So, in other words, if Facebook is the parent company of WhatsApp, you simply cannot trust what they do.
At least, I don’t. So, feel free to decide what’s best for you.
2. WhatsApp Is Not Open Source
If something is open-source, it means that you can review the source code of the application and verify whether the service/app works as it claims or promises.
For example, Signal is an open-source app. Even if you don’t have the technical knowledge to review the source code, there are hundreds and thousands of developers in the community who constantly work and improve the app.
Also, just for your information, WhatsApp’s co-founder is the Executive Chairman at Signal Foundation. So, he is one of the key members responsible to develop or improve Signal app as an alternative to WhatsApp.
Not just Signal (that’s what I personally prefer).
In a nutshell, open-source solutions prove to be better for several reasons and WhatsApp is not an open-source app.
Of course, not all proprietary solutions are bad – but depending on my personal preferences, I am more comfortable with an open-source solution. You be the judge for yourself.
ProtonMail: Free Encrypted Email
ProtonMail is an amazing alternative to Gmail that protects your privacy and offers end-to-end encryption for emails. You get all the essential features of Gmail along with the best-in-class security features that you should expect in an email service.
3. WhatsApp Has Had Several Security Problems
WhatsApp claims to offer the best security to its users, right? Also, it has end-to-end encryption.
Well, that’s debatable because hackers managed to hack a phone by just starting a WhatsApp call (you don’t even need to pick up the call).
But, end-to-end encryption refers to the fact that your messages are safe?
Well, technically yes – but end-to-end encryption doesn’t really prevent Facebook/WhatsApp from accessing your chats (potentially)
I might sound paranoid – but just because there’s no clarity on how the data and encryption are exactly handled (with a mixture of controversies that surround Mark Zuckerberg during Congressional hearing), you can’t be too confident.
For more info on this, you can explore an article on Medium on how end-to-end encryption does not really translate to secure messaging.
It just doesn’t stop there – there’s also no clarity on how metadata (information associated with your message) is handled on WhatsApp. Even if your messages are secure – simple metadata can still trace you easily.
Don’t believe me? Read how NSA identifies (or kills) using metadata to know more about it.
Of course, WhatsApp fixed security problems. But, WhatsApp has had several security issues and often very dangerous. But, on the other hand, apps like Threema, Signal, Session, and similar privacy-friendly messengers have had little to none severe vulnerabilities.
I know that everything can be hacked one day or the other – but would you rather choose something that’s more dangerous to use or something that’s safer?
You be the judge.
4. WhatsApp Is Not Privacy Friendly
While this is somewhat a redundant reason given that Facebook owns WhatsApp. But, that’s not the end of the story.
WhatsApp is not even compliant with GDPR privacy regulations. I’ll give two pointers here:
- Anyone can add you to a WhatsApp group by default (you have the option to prevent it – but that should have been enabled by default)
- You’re sharing your address book and potentially sharing the data of your contacts without their consent. And, it’s not clear how they handle the data – whether they hash it at all or not.
In addition to that, WhatsApp collects the data from your address book (every other messaging app does) – however, there’s not enough clarity in their policy how they protect it.
5. WhatsApp Does Not Have A Native Desktop App
As of now, WhatsApp, being a very popular messenger does not offer a native desktop experience (i.e standalone app).
Yes, you can use WhatsApp Web but that’s a terrible service. You will need to have an active Internet connection on your smartphone to use WhatsApp Web – which is stupid (in my opinion).
In contrast, other messaging apps provide a separate desktop app which you can use even if your smartphone has been switched off.
6. WhatsApp Is The Perfect Spot For Spreading Fake News & Rumors
Let’s face it. You must have already witnessed the never ending spam messages in WhatsApp groups.
Someone just forwards a link or an image and it gets viral!
Even though this might seem harmless – it’s really easy to spread a malicious message or information using WhatsApp.
In case you didn’t know WhatsApp has had one of the major roles in spreading misinformation about coronavirus in 2020. Not just limited to this, there are also reports of people being burned to death just because of a hoax spread via WhatsApp.
No matter how hard WhatsApp tries to limit it – they still haven’t succeeded with that. Maybe no other messaging app with a huge userbase has managed to do that.
But, would you rather choose a less-distracting app with a potentially safer environment or would want to spend the entire day tackling spam messages on WhatsApp?
You be the judge.
7. Facebook’s Plan To Integrate WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger & Instagram Is Bad News
Here, integrating different services refers to the ability of merging the network of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram under one single roof.
To clarify – it means that you will be able to communicate with WhatsApp users through Instagram and vice versa.
With this move, not only they will be eliminating the potential rival messaging services through easy monopoly but it also raises anti-trust and security questions.
However, officially it’s still not clear how they’re doing it (and what’s the progress with it so far). You can read more about the move here.
No matter whether you agree with the points above, I’ve listed a list of WhatsApp alternatives that you can try:
I understand that it’s not possible to completely uninstall WhatsApp right away. And, it’s totally my opinion here.
But, it’s important to understand that privacy and security matters. So, I’d suggest you to start using secure messaging apps like Threema, Signal, and Session and encourage everyone else to do the same.
So, if you found this article useful, please share it across social media platforms to spread the word!