WhatsApp Web Users Safe Online

WhatsApp Web Users Safe: Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has introduced a browser extension called Code Verify that will tell users if the version of WhatsApp Web they are using is authenticated.

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The web extension automatically verifies the authenticity of the WhatsApp Web code being served to users and confirms that their texts are secure and not tampered with. WhatsApp has developed the extension in partnership with Cloudflare. It is an open-source project that also lets other companies integrate it into their apps.

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The Code Verify WhatsApp extension is available for download on Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. It checks for resources on the entire web page to verify the authenticity of the code when users open WhatsApp Web. Once the code is verified as authentic, the extension notifies users about it. If users have the extension installed on their web browsers, it will run automatically when they use WhatsApp Web. It shows a green check-mark in a circle to reflect that the code of WhatsApp Web that you are using has been fully validated.

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When the extension is not able to verify if the version of WhatsApp you are using, it shows three messages – Network Times Out, Possible Risk Detected, and Validation Failure. Users can find out more about these by clicking on the Code Verify extension icon on their toolbar when it is green, orange, or red.

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“We’ve given Cloudflare a cryptographic hash source of truth for WhatsApp Web’s JavaScript code. When someone uses Code Verify, the extension automatically compares the code that runs on WhatsApp Web against the version of the code verified by WhatsApp and published on Cloudflare,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

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The primary reason for WhatsApp’s new extension being launched is to prevent users from using any malicious version of the WhatsApp Web. Importantly, WhatsApp notes that the new extension does not log any data, metadata, or user information and doesn’t share any information with WhatsApp. The extension also doesn’t read or access your messages, WhatsApp said on its FAQ page.

While mobile apps have an authenticated source for users to download them from like the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Web clients mostly do not have this kind of authentication.

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