WhatsApp Rolls Out Its “Suspicious Link Detection” Feature For Beta Testers

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Good news for all WhatsApp users! For all the users who were tired with the spam links forwarded on WhatsApp, that more often than not contained malicious downloads, you all can heave a sigh of relief. WhatsApp has finally stepped up and solved the prolonged issue of receiving such spam links. Amidst increasing concerns regarding the circulation of fake messages on this social network, this move can be considered as a significant step to enhance the security of the world’s most popular mobile messaging app. WhatsApp is leaving no stones unturned in making its platform more secure and safe for its users, especially in India.

WhatsApp has recently started testing a suspicious link detection feature on Android. Through this feature, the users will be informed if the link that has been forwarded to them is leading to some suspicious website or would prompt a malware download. This upgrade would give a much-needed boost to its efforts of limiting the spread of fake news and misinformation in India. This feature was initially launched for a very limited number of WhatsApp users, but now, WhatsApp has decided to roll this feature out to all beta users through update version 2.18.221.

WhatsApp Suspicious Link Detection: Much Needed

WhatsApp Suspicious Link Detection feature will be of very great help in curbing the malware that enters the mobile phones through chat links. The primary function will encrypt the message and scan for any malicious link containing unusual characters and it may be trying to appear as another site. If any abnormality or suspicious content is detected, WhatsApp would automatically warn the users that the message that has been forwarded can make the device vulnerable to hacking.

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This feature marks the link in the prominent colour of danger – red.

Suspicious Link. This link contains unusual characters. It may be trying to appear as another site.”

This infers that if you are a WhatsApp Beta user currently and have to update your application to the latest version, you can relax regarding spam, spoof and phishing links that you might receive in your chats, due to this feature rolled out by the social media network.

Who Would Be Benefitted?

Currently, only the Beta users will supposedly be warned by this network prior to their opening a suspicious link. Not only this, the users would again be cautioned by “searching for unusual characters”, in case they go ahead and open the questionable link. A user would be warned with two options – either visit the link or go back. Presently, this feature is only rolled for Android, but is expected to be on the floor for iOS soon enough. Moreover, no clue has been given regarding when this feature would be launched for all its users. As of now, it is predicted that WhatsApp would take a few weeks to ensure that the feature is bug-free and then plan to roll it out for the public.

Now, this may raise eyebrows regarding the end-to-end encryption, with a vague hope that WhatsApp might access the chats. These doubts have been clarified by WhatsApp, and it claims that the links will be checked automatically. It would not have any access to the data owing to the end-to-end encryption.

Fake Information Broadcast: A Colossal Problem

Over the last few years, almost all the social media giants including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, have faced severe problems due to the spread of fake news and information. WhatsApp is determined to deal with this issue eye to eye, as it has already announced two another significant change in its platform. Recently, it has brought down the number of contacts to which a message can be forwarded – to 5 in India. All around the globe, the number is 20. Moreover, it has planned to get rid of the quick forward button from its platform. Let’s see if these moves to bring the intended changes!

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