Whatsapp Security Flaw Which Left Millions of Users Vulnerable

    By Amy Montague, Tuesday 18 February 2020

    The past 10 years have been harsh on Facebook. With multiple hacking incidents and younger audiences turning away from the social media platform, the future seems uncertain. 

    As of 2019, Facebook lost 16 million users in the US and 3 million plus users in the UK due to over-congested advertisement algorithms, and data concerns that shook audiences during 2018 as 50 million accounts were hacked. Now, younger audiences (people under 25) are turning to other community-focused platforms such as Tik Tok to communicate with peers and post visual content. 

    As bleak as the future may seem, it's not over for Facebook yet. Since 2012, the social media platform has been buying out other brands such as Instagram and WhatsApp in an attempt to stay in touch with younger audiences. However this could all be in vein as we head deeper into 2020 and more hacking incidents across Facebook's multiple platforms lower user's confidence in the digital giant.

    Most recently, a security fault on WhatsApp (which was bought by Facebook back in 2014) was exposed by a security hacker, as he explored the brands desktop app when installed on a MAC OS. The security flaw meant that a hacker could send and edit messages via the MAC app if connected to an iPhone. Read the full article here.

    WhatsApp User

    Luckily for WhatsApp users, the security hacking individual didn't expose the fault in a malicious attempt to hack into millions of personal accounts. Instead, the hacker highlighted this issue to Facebook themselves.

    And this is where Facebook and other digital brands fail. Even after the individual outlined the security fault to Facebook developers, nothing was done to resolve the issue. This was until a detailed outline of the fault was posted online, for all to see. Only then did Facebook resolve the security flaw. 

    Unfortunately, this 'wait and pray' method of tackling issues and flaws demonstrated here by Facebook isn't uncommon. Hundreds of companies with website or app issues identified by testing teams push these issues to the back of developer's minds, as a focus on new releases is fore-fronted. 

    Problems arise when the core structure of a website is vulnerable to security failures or conversion-based issues which reduce revenue and negatively affect loyal user perceptions of digital security. This is exactly what's happening to Facebook's main platform as more and more users abandon the social media giant for more 'reliable' and 'trust-worthy' brands. 

    Professional website testing communities like Digivante can identify website and app issues across hundreds of different browser and device combinations, but it's effectively up to the company to resolve these issues. 

    Read our Costliest Bugs of 2018 eBook to discover more about potentially fatal website issues. 

    Amy Montague

    Amy Montague

    As one of the Marketing Executives for Digivante, Amy provides and reviews most of the copy and visual content for Digivante. Amy has a natural flair for the creative and introduces aspect into her marketing role.

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