What is the first application that you install as soon as you buy a new Android phone? Without a doubt, this is WhatsApp and if it is not the first, it is surely the second or third. Because we cannot deny that despite all its flaws and that apps like Telegram are much better, WhatsApp remains the undisputed leader in messaging apps. Without discussion.
Installed on millions of devices from all corners of the world, the Facebook-owned app moves thousands and millions of messages throughout the day. Messages of all types, from memes, prank videos to private information. We are not aware of what we really share through WhatsApp and that is why there are many people who want to take advantage of it. How? We just have to put the word WhatsApp in the Google application store to realize it.
WhatsApp and the attack of the clones
WhatsApp knows a lot about us. Personal information about our account, information about our device, the content of our messages … a gold mine for cybercriminals and other criminals. We have a clear example in the hack of the WhatsApp account of the owner of Amazon, the richest man in the world. Just imagine the information that would come out of that phone.
Well, as we all know, Google’s app store is not the safest in the world. Many will say that since it is an open system it is easier for certain malicious applications to pass through Google’s security filters, although for us this sounds like a cheap excuse. The only certainty is that these apps exist because Google does not put sufficient security measures in place, of course. And if not, check out the Apple App Store.
Just by putting WhatsApp in the Play Store, a multitude of apps appear with green backgrounds, all of them with the aim of deceiving the least tech savvy. Obviously not all of these apps are malware, but they are unnecessary. Many of these apps allow us to add “extra features”, others promise to replace the official app, chat cleaners, apps to add new stickers … any idea you can think of is already invented, as stupid as it is.
Now where is the trap? As always in the permits. If a flashlight app that wanted to access our contacts was already suspicious, an application that wants to access all our WhatsApp history will not be less. Obviously, the purpose of these tools is to obtain our personal data, but not necessarily to make fraudulent use of them, but simply to sell them to third-party companies.
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As we always say, a lot of eye and care with what we download. Even the most harmless-looking app can be the most dangerous. Above all, take a look at the permissions they request and specifically, be more jealous of your privacy. WhatsApp is already a fairly complete app without the need to install any other plugin and if you don’t like how it is, better install Telegram.