WhatsApp upgrade is a big win for security and transparency

(Image credit: Allie Zru)

WhatsApp is putting all its cards on the table when it comes to bugs and security issues, which is great news for users concerned about the privacy of their messages.

By going to the Security Advisories section on WhatsApp's website, specifically the 2020 page, you'll see all the bugs WhatsApp has had to fix since the start of the year and how they could have been abused by unscrupulous individuals.

There are six bugs currently listed in the 2020 section, all of which WhatsApp said did not necessarily affect users. The bugs were caused by specific problems with live location messages, video calls, images and voice notes, to name a few reasons.

"In keeping with industry best practices, we will not disclose security issues until after we have fully investigated any claims, issued any necessary fixes, and made updates widely available through the respective app stores," WhatsApp said in the introduction to its Security Advisories page.

It said it has not always been able to do this before "due to the policies and practices of app stores."

This Security Advisories section sounds like something that might be interesting only to information-security nerds, but it is important for normal users too. WhatsApp is an enormously popular app owned by the notoriously opaque Facebook. Having this transparency helps cultivate users' trust that they can continue to use the app securely and privately.

As WhatsApp recommends at the end of the introduction of its Security Advisories section, the best thing a user can do to protect their messages from being intercepted is to keep the app updated. That way you're always protected against the most recently discovered threats.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.