Few think about it, but in general, communication in instant messengers is much safer than SMS. Take any messenger, and it will be guaranteed to encrypt correspondence, unlike SMS messages, which are sent without any protection at all. Therefore, if you are faced with a choice, send a message in Viber or write an SMS, perhaps it is better to use the first one. It will be both more convenient and safer. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t rely on messengers 100% either, because some of them are quite insecure.
Kaspersky Lab experts conducted a study and found out that fraudsters cheat Android users precisely through instant messengers. Most of all phishing attacks carried out from December 2020 to May 2021 were carried out using instant messengers, and not malicious applications from Google Play , as it might seem. True, not all, but only a select few.
How to cheat through WhatsApp
Of course, WhatsApp turned out to be the leader in terms of the frequency of use as a source of phishing attacks with a share of 89.6%. Scammers use this messenger for their mailings, which include phishing links. As a result, victims click on them, enter their data and lose either money, or control over their accounts, or both at once.
Despite the fact that WhatsApp remains in the lead, Telegram is in second place in terms of demand for fraudsters with a 5.6% share, and Viber is third, which accounts for 4.7% of all phishing attacks carried out via instant messengers. There is also a fourth place. It went to Google Hangouts, which is responsible for less than one percent of attacks targeting Android users.
The demand for WhatsApp among scammers is understandable. This is the messenger with the largest audience. It is installed even by those users who usually do not use it, but keep it just in case, or for rare correspondence or calls with people who do not use other messengers. So this is pure pragmatism, obvious to scammers and to those who suffer from them.
However, this is not only about the popularity of WhatsApp . If you think about it, the number of malicious attacks carried out through it is almost 40 times higher than the number of those on Telegram. This is a really big gap, which indicates not only and not so much the presence of a naive audience ready to engage in phishing, but the fact that WhatsApp practically does not suppress such activities.
Let’s take Telegram for comparison . Despite the fact that far fewer people use it than WhatsApp, Telegram has a very well-established system of protection against spam and malicious messages . I don’t know about you, but I have never received any useless mailings on Telegram , not to mention phishing attacks.
Not everything is so smooth in WhatsApp in terms of the technical implementation of protective mechanisms. After all, recently, thanks to the developers of Telegram, we found out that in Vatsap, something is arranged completely differently from how it is customary to think about it:
- WhatsApp claims that all messages in the messenger are end-to-end encrypted. However, Apple may have access to WhatsApp chats because iOS backups are saved to iCloud;
- The same goes for the Android version of WhatsApp. Google may have access to chats because WhatsApp for Android is backed up to Google Drive;
- WhatsApp itself can have access to chats because we can restore them to a clean device simply by entering a phone number.
Does this mean that WhatsApp is cheating on us ? Well, most likely, the developers really do not finish something. Therefore, it is highly likely that WhatsApp really has problems with security . So if you use some kind of messenger, then only Telegram. At least, I made such a choice for myself. After all, it is not only well protected, but also convenient, unlike Vatsap, which does not even know how to synchronize messages.