With reports that Jeff Bezos was hacked, is WhatsApp a viable place to do business?
Yoav Keren, chief executive of BrandShield, says YES.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos appears to be the victim of a classic “spear phishing” attack. But while people might be alarmed that one of the richest and most high-profile people in the world has fallen victim, it certainly shouldn’t stop the use of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is a great tool for companies to better personalise communications. In our own business, where we are always on the move, we use it to manage communications with multiple customers and business partners in real time.
It has a crisp and simple user interface so even business executives new to the technology can get to grips with it extremely quickly, and one of its biggest benefits is that you know if your counterpart has seen a message, making follow-ups a more efficient process.
It is true that more phishing is taking place via social media like WhatsApp (or, indeed, Twitter), and people are beginning to wake up to that. But all communication channels have their vulnerabilities. The important thing is that there are tools to protect you.
Leon Emirali, an entrepreneur and investor, says NO.
WhatsApp loves to tell you about its “end-to-end encryption”. Each time you start a new conversation, the WhatsApp elves give you a reassurance that your messages are safe with them. The reality is quite different.
According to reports, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone through spyware that was downloaded via a video file he sent to the Amazon boss.
WhatsApp has long been viewed with suspicion by those who need to transfer confidential information. Rivals such as Telegram and Signal offer extra security features, like self-destructing messages and deeper encryption.
Of course, no messaging app can provide a complete safeguard, but the fact that more and more government and business leaders are looking beyond the mainstream offer of WhatsApp for greater privacy tells us something.
It seems as though even the world’s richest man can fall foul of the age-old rule of the internet: never trust emails or messages sent from “Princes” in faraway lands.
Main image credit: Getty