CyberManDan

Security Advice & Blog

Have you received, or seen this message? 

I’m sure you’ve all been part of a group chat before, whether this is through WhatsApp, iMessage, or Facebook etc. or even in a professional capacity using Teams or Slack. There is nothing wrong with group messages, as they are typically between a group of friends, or people with similar interests, or for a particular project or piece of work.

 

How true is this message?

This message is claiming that WhatsApp have ‘weakened’ your security by allowing you to be added to groups by people you don’t know. This is nothing new! This has always been the case, and WhatsApp has not ‘changed’ this setting. Equally, you can be added to a random group on Facebook, or iMessage, or an email chain etc.

 Should I change this setting?

That is totally up to you.

I have recently been added to a WhatsApp group by someone not in my contacts. This is because we are arranging a stag party for a common friend, however, I do not know the person actually organising the event. If my settings were changed, they could not add me to this group. I suppose our common friend could let me know his number beforehand, I could add him as a contact, and then I could be added to the group.

 

Use common sense, no matter what you’re using!

Irrespective of WhatsApp, whenever you receive a message by any number you do not know, or an email from an address you don’t know, look out for malicious signs, and things that don’t look quite right. DO NOT click on links or open attachments unless they are from people you trust.

You can still receive text messages from people you don’t know, you can still receive a Facebook or LinkedIn message from a stranger, or an email from absolutely anyone. It’s good that WhatsApp give us the ability to change this setting should we wish to, but this is nothing new, it’s nothing malicious being done by Facebook (who own WhatsApp).