Have you been trapped in a scam Via a Suspicious link? If not then stay alert from clicking on any unknown or suspicious link. No matter the link is sent by any of your relatives or close friends because they might be unknowingly trapped in the same scam as well.
What is a “Suspicious link”?
Scammers use such attractive but suspicious words or combinations of characters that are considered suspicious. They can trick into a trap by using these characters in their URL. Apparently, it seems like you are going to a legitimate site but after clicking… you might be going to get malware for your device which can encrypt all your data. Remember once the data is encrypted you might not be able to access your data again until they decrypt it back. Scammers will ask you to pay them an amount but believe me they won’t give all your data back to you easily.
Not just this, some suspicious links ask you to sign up to get some rewards. After you sign up, they might hack your social media account and ask you to pay them an amount. There are loads and loads of such scams going around social media and many people fall into their trap. Most of the time we receive referral links from friends, and they force us to open and get them a reward. The reality is, neither your friend is going to get any gift from that link nor you… but the only one who will get the benefit is the one who owns that website.
How to detect if it is a link?
Nowadays WhatsApp itself has a feature to automatically detect any suspicious link that you receive. You will see a red indicator on top of that message in which the suspicious link is shared. Even if you ignore the WhatsApp suspicious link indicator… a pop-up will appear which will be highlighting the suspicious characters.
For Example, someone sends you a URL “https://ẉhatsapp.com/free-tickets” and you click on it, now you are expecting to be redirected to “https://whatsapp.com/free-tickets” but now you didn’t notice one thing in the first URL that “w” of WhatsApp is replaced by “ẉ” so it became “ẉhatsapp.com” which is a different domain from whatsapp.com. You might be expecting to go to a legitimate site but instead, you are directed to a trap which was set by the link, But WhatsApp will highlight these suspicious words or characters which will help you a lot to get warned.
Even if WhatsApp doesn’t detect any suspicious thing in the URL, it is our duty to verify the link before clicking it, to verify we should
Read the characters of the Link Carefully.
Check if it is a .com domain or not (mostly the scammers use cheap or free domains).
Or read the content of the message carefully, WhatsApp will markdown the unusual characters for you, after that it is completely up to you whether you want to open the or go back to the chat.
How to enable suspicious link detection feature on WhatsApp?
You don’t need any specific activation to use this feature but make sure that:
You have at least WhatsApp version 2.18.221 updated to automatically activate this feature.
If you don’t have this feature then you can reinstall the application but don’t forget to backup the chat because by doing this, the latest WhatsApp version and configuration will be downloaded for you.
Don’t worry if you are an iOS user or any other OS like windows, Blackberry, you can also update the app to receive this feature.
How it detects:
As mentioned above, there be two indicators of suspicious links:
One indicator will be clearly seen at the top of the message, it will be a red-colored indicator with the text “SUSPICIOUS LINK” and a warning sign at the start
- There will be a second indicator that will pop up when you neglect the suspicious link indicator and click on the link. The pop-up will highlight the text or the characters that are suspicious according to them.
Question that arises here is,
Isn’t it a violation of end-to-end encryption?
Many people raised questions against this feature because WhatsApp itself promises end-to-end encryption which means no third party will be able to view messages, then how WhatsApp can detect suspicious links that are sent to me by my contact? WhatsApp stated on their website FAQs while addressing this question,
“ WhatsApp automatically performs checks to determine if a link is suspicious. To protect your privacy, these checks take place entirely on your device, and because of end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp can’t see the content of your messages. ”
The above statement from WhatsApp on WhatsApp FAQs shows that Whatsapp is still keeping your conversations end-to-end encrypted, it means whatsapp still isn’t able to see your conversation with your friends. Whatsapp performs these checks locally on your device, which indicates that no one from WhatsApp/Meta server is able to view your messages.
Whatsapp is continuously working on many features concerning user’s privacy, and major updates are going to be released soon. They have gone through many controversies, people trolling them on twitter but still they kept calm and now are more focused on the updates. Also there are many competitors Whatsapp is currently facing like telegram, line, signal and many more but Whatsapp contains its own significance in this industry.
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