Privacy and security is in our DNA, which is why we built end-to-end encryption into our app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, status updates and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands.
WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption is used when you chat with another person using WhatsApp Messenger. End-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you're communicating with can read or listen to what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because with end-to-end encryption, your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on any special settings to secure your messages.
Every WhatsApp message is protected by the same Signal encryption protocol that secures messages before they leave your device. When you message a WhatsApp business account, your message is delivered securely to the destination chosen by the business.
WhatsApp considers chats with businesses that use the WhatsApp Business app or manage and store customer messages themselves to be end-to-end encrypted. Once the message is received, it will be subject to the business’s own privacy practices. The business may designate a number of employees, or even other vendors, to process and respond to the message.
Some businesses1 will be able to choose WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, to securely store messages and respond to customers. While Meta will not automatically use your messages to inform the ads that you see, businesses will be able to use chats they receive for their own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Meta. You can always contact that business to learn more about its privacy practices.
Note: The encryption status of an end-to-end encrypted chat cannot change without the change being visible to the user. For more information about which chats are end-to-end encrypted, please read our white paper.
Payments on WhatsApp, which are available in select countries, enable transfers between accounts at financial institutions. Card and bank numbers are stored encrypted and in a highly-secured network. However, because financial institutions can’t process transactions without receiving information related to these payments, these payments aren’t end-to-end encrypted.
What's the "Verify Security Code" screen in the contact info screen?
End-to-end encrypted chats between you and one other person have their own security code used to verify that the calls and the messages you send to that chat are end-to-end encrypted.
Note: The verification process is optional for end-to-end encrypted chats, and only used to confirm that the messages and calls you send are end-to-end encrypted.
This code can be found in the contact info screen, both as a QR code and a 60-digit number. These codes are unique to each individual chat and can be compared between people in each chat to verify that the messages you send to the chat are end-to-end encrypted. Security codes are just visible versions of the special keys shared between you - and don't worry, it's not the actual keys themselves, they're always kept secret. When you verify a chat is end-to-end encrypted, this also verifies that you and your contact’s lists of linked devices are up to date.
To verify that an individual chat is end-to-end encrypted:
- Open the chat.
- Tap on the name of the contact to open the contact info screen.
- Tap Encryption to view the QR code and 60-digit number.
- Note: This feature is only available for a contact in an end-to-end encrypted chat.
If you and your contact are physically next to each other, one of you can scan the other's QR code or visually compare the 60-digit number. If you scan the QR code, and the code is indeed the same, a green check mark will appear. Since they match, you can be sure no one is intercepting your messages or calls.
If you and your contact aren't physically near each other, you can send them the 60-digit number using another platform. Let your contact know that once they receive your code, they should write it down and then visually compare it to the 60-digit number that appears in the contact info screen under Encryption. For Android and iPhone, you can use the Share button from the Verify Security Code screen to send the 60-digit number via SMS, email, etc.
If the codes don't match, it's possible you're scanning the code of a different contact or a different phone number. If your contact has recently reinstalled WhatsApp, changed phones, or added or removed a paired device, we recommend you refresh the code by sending them a new message and then scanning the code. Learn more about security codes changing in this article.
Please note, if you or your contact use WhatsApp on multiple devices, you’ll need to verify the security code on all of your and your contact’s devices.
Why does WhatsApp offer end-to-end encryption and what does it mean for keeping people safe?
Security is essential to the service WhatsApp provides. We've seen multiple examples where criminal hackers illegally obtained vast sums of private data and abused technology to hurt people with their stolen information. Since completing the implementation of end-to-end encryption in 2016, digital security has become even more important.
WhatsApp has no ability to see the content of messages or listen to calls that are end-to-end encrypted. That’s because the encryption and decryption of messages sent and received on WhatsApp occurs entirely on your device. Before a message ever leaves your device, it's secured with a cryptographic lock, and only the recipient has the keys. In addition, the keys change with every single message that's sent. While all of this happens behind the scenes, you can confirm your conversations are protected by checking the security verification code on your device. You can find more details about how this works in our white paper. Naturally, people have asked what end-to-end encryption means for the work of law enforcement. WhatsApp appreciates the work that law enforcement agencies do to keep people safe around the world. We carefully review, validate and respond to law enforcement requests based on applicable law and policy, and we prioritize responses to emergency requests. As part of our education efforts, we published information for law enforcement about the limited information we collect and how they can make requests of WhatsApp, which you can read here.
your friends and family for free*. WhatsApp uses your phone's Internet
connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees
charges may apply. Contact your provider for details.
keep in touch
touch with the groups of people that matter the most, like your family or
coworkers. With group chats, you can share messages, photos, and videos with up
to 256 people at once. You can also name your group, mute or customize
notifications, and more.
ON WEB AND DESKTOP
WhatsApp on the web and desktop, you can seamlessly sync all of your chats to
your computer so that you can chat on whatever device is most convenient for
you. Download the desktop app or visit web.whatsapp.com to get started
VOICE AND VIDEO CALLS
voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free*, even if they're
in another country. And with free* video calls, you can have face-to-face
conversations for when voice or text just isn't enough. WhatsApp voice and video
calls use your phone's Internet connection, instead of your cell plan's voice
minutes, so you don't have to worry about expensive calling charges.
charges may apply. Contact your provider for details.
your most personal moments are shared on WhatsApp, which is why we built
end-to-end encryption into the latest versions of our app. When end-to-end
encrypted, your messages and calls are secured so only you and the person
you're communicating with can read or listen to them, and nobody in between,
not even WhatsApp.
Moments that Matter
photos and videos on WhatsApp instantly. You can even capture the moments that
matter to you most with a built-in camera. With WhatsApp, photos and videos
send quickly even if you're on a slow connection.
Sharing Made Easy
PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more, without the hassle of email
or file sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it's easy to get
what you need over to who you want.
What's On Your Mind
your voice says it all. With just one tap you can record a Voice Message,
perfect for a quick hello or a longer story.