WhatsApp is launching a new option that allows you to protect your IP address during calls. Thus, our interlocutor cannot access it: enough to protect themselves from certain hackers.
Meta’s instant messaging application has just announced the deployment of a new security setting. It allows you to protect your IP address during calls. The idea of WhatsApp being to protect its users a little more from hackers.
A setting to protect your IP address on WhatsApp
The connection problem peer to peer (peer to peer) that WhatsApp uses in particular, is that both parties in a call, for example, must know their respective IP addresses. The problem is that an IP address is also sensitive information: ISP used, geographic location, etc.
This is why since last month, WhatsApp has been deploying the “ Protect IP address during calls ” : she permits ” hide your IP address from your interlocutor by relaying calls through WhatsApp servers », Specifies Meta in a press release. However, calls remain end-to-end encrypted, so Meta technically cannot listen to you. In the same vein, WhatsApp launched a function to mute calls from strangers last June.
How to activate this security option in WhatsApp
To enable this setting, follow these steps:
- Click on the three dots at the top right on the WhatsApp home page and click on “ Settings » ;
- Click on the “ Confidentiality » ;
- Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click “ Advanced » ;
- Check the parameter “ Protect IP address during calls “.
Be careful though: WhatsApp specifies that call quality will be reduced if you activate this option.
How Meta hides your IP address
Mark Zuckerberg’s company wants to distinguish itself from other calling applications. She says that traditionally, muting maintains the same network protocols and message flow as a normal call. This only mutes the call and would pose risks to the recipient. A hacker can easily load data into their target’s memory, via data on their device, such as their IP address.
The solution to this for WhatsApp is the creation of a specialized protocol that passes through its servers, in order to protect the recipient’s device. Yet this requires knowing whether the call can be silenced without asking the recipient’s opinion. The problem is that with end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp, it is impossible for Meta to store records of communications between its users. This is why the company created “ privacy tokens » which allow each user to decide which other user he trusts. A token is distributed when a call is made or messages are sent between two people. Subsequently, when a call is made, the caller includes the privacy token they were given. Meta’s servers check this and determine whether the recipient authorizes the sender to call.