Someone is spying on you

Briefly explained: How to check whether someone is secretly reading WhatsApp

WhatsApp recently introduced end-to-end encryption and is now generally considered secure, as messages are encrypted on the sender device and only decrypted on the recipient device - without any intermediate steps. But there is one loophole: the web app.

That was the topic of RTL magazine on WednesdayStar TVthat sent an expert who wanted to “check the settings of the WhatsApp account”. He then secretly scanned a QR code on his iPad and was able to read all the messages from the test subjects. According to the reporter, this worked flawlessly for 9 out of 10 people - and the perplexed faces of the users were accordingly.

Set up the WhatsApp web app

It also became clear that not everyone has apparently heard of WhatsApps web app, with which WhatsApp can also be used on the computer in the browser for several months. The setup is very easy:

  • The visit
  • Open WhatsApp on your smartphone
  • Settings → WhatsApp Web
  • Scan the QR code, done!

From now on WhatsApp automatically synchronizes all incoming messages with the computer, you can send files and write with your contacts. A great way to type on the usually more comfortable computer keyboard, especially for power users.

WhatsApp web app: comfort yes, security yes

He has the pitfallsStar TV-The post is excellently exposed: It is child's play to get your hands on messages from friends, strangers or your allegedly unfaithful partner. As long as the smartphone is unprotected (i.e. you don't crack a PIN code), you won't even make yourself liable to prosecution because there are no effective protective mechanisms. That explains IT lawyer Christian Solmecke. As long as you keep the messages you read to yourself, everything is at least legally in order - if not morally.

If the smartphone is only out of sight for a few seconds at home, in the office or anywhere else and is not protected, I can legally read the messages. The fact that not so many users probably know that this option exists can be attributed to automatic updates that run in the background - or to the fact that WhatsApp does not particularly actively promote this setting, let alone the users explicitly Update pointed out.

How to check your WhatsApp account

So if you want to check whether someone is reading, you can do so within 30 seconds:

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  • Open WhatsApp
  • Settings → WhatsApp Web
  • If you can see the QR code scanner here, everything is OK
  • If you can see registered, unknown devices here, someone is reading along

That can be done with a click onSign out of all computers be terminated. Now set a PIN code for your smartphone and don't give the device out of your hand - then you are on the safe side. By the way, WhatsApp's solution would not be so incredibly complicated, you would just have to more actively point out to the user that devices are active in the background and are reading along. A brief note on starting the app would be a sensible idea.

Did you already know the WhatsApp web app? Let us know what you think in the comments - we're excited!

Click here for the WhatsApp service from BASIC thinking.
This is how you write in bold, italic and strikethrough on WhatsApp.
→ Here we explain the new encryption of WhatsApp to you.