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Your WhatsApp groups may not be as private as you think



Don't rely on your private WhatsApp group to be as private as you think. An important PSA made the round today after DW journalist Jordan Wildon found that with WhatsApp's function " Invite via link to group" groups of search engines can be indexed. [19659002] Your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think.

With the function "Invite to group via link" groups can be indexed by Google and are generally available on the Internet. With some wildcard search terms, you can easily find some … interesting … groups. pic.twitter.com/hbDlyN6g3q

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1; Jordan Wildon (@JordanWildon) February 21, 2020

This makes it surprisingly easy to find some interesting groups with an easy one Google search.

There is probably a public group on almost every topic you can think of, from animal rescue to the Church of Satan. After joining, you can see participants and their phone numbers.

Developer Jane Manchun Wong found that Google provides approximately 470,000 results for the chat.whatsapp.com URLs used by group invitations.

To be clear, this is not none Glitch or something new for WhatsApp. Google announced Motherboard that it would index websites on the open web, and this includes group invitations, but did provide "tools that websites can block content listing" in its results.

WhatsApp said that " Like all content shared on searchable public channels, invitation links posted publicly on the Internet can be found by other WhatsApp users. Links that users want to share privately with people who they know and trust should not be published on a public website. ”

There is only one problem: a member only has to publicly share a link to potentially compromise the privacy of everyone else. The other member would never know if this happened. It seems WhatsApp is better off if these websites are not indexed using Google's tools above, so think twice before putting confidential information in a WhatsApp Group publish.


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