WhatsApp is used by people across the world as it provides a cost effective, reliable, and secure communication channel. Ever since WhatsApp introduced its end-to-end encrypted chats, it has become a very private messaging platform, one that ensures that the contents of your conversations are only known to you. Just recently, Google partnered with Facebook (WhatsApp’s owner) and released a feature that allows WhatsApp users to back up their conversations on their Google Drives.
It sounds like a great way of preserving your chat history and not having to keep too much stuff on your device, but the downside to this feature is that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption does not apply to any backups made on your Google Drive account. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of this, even after WhatsApp has officially announced that their Drive backups are not protected by encryption. Now, being unencrypted does not necessarily mean that anything you backup on your Drive will be unsafe, Google Drive has a pretty secure and reliable setup thanks to it being on Google’s servers.
After hearing this, most people will feel quite safe about leaving their backups on Google Drive, even if they do not offer encryption, but you should keep in mind that since the contents of your Drive are not encrypted, they could be accessed and viewed by Google. People who are concerned about their privacy are definitely going to find this unnerving as corporations are known for accessing their consumer’s personal information for analytical purposes.
If you are someone who is worried about their privacy then WhatsApp’s latest backup option is going to leave you torn between a reliable and easily accessible storage solution and keeping your conversations away from prying eyes. WhatsApp is going to be graced with this feature on the 12th of November, but if you are not planning to make use of it, then there are other ways to back up your conversations as well.
A secure and long term solution can be to store your conversations on an external hard drive, these things have long life spans and cannot be accessed remotely, but then again, investing in an external hard drive could get expensive and only the most zealous privacy fanatics would be ready to make such an investment just to safeguard their WhatsApp conversation backups. You could also encrypt your computer’s hard drive for a more affordable solution.
However, if you think about it, WhatsApp’s latest partnership with Google is giving a pretty great offer, you get a peace of mind that your data is completely safe and you do not have to pay anything at all. The only people who will have an actual problem with this backup solution will be the ones whose conversations contain sensitive information that they really would not want anyone to see. So far, a lot of people have shown delight at this announcement and are eagerly waiting to start making the most out of WhatsApp’s soon to be latest feature.