Author Topic: WhatsApp?  (Read 551 times)

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Online daniel1948

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WhatsApp?
« on: April 22, 2017, 11:31:19 AM »
My cousin, in an email, was raving about how wonderful WhatsApp is. My cousin, according to herself, knows next to nothing about computers. She's in Europe at present and likes the fact that she can text and make phone calls for free with the app.

I looked it up, and see that it's a messaging app, now owned by Facebook, who paid mega-billions for it, though it's free to end users. It looks as though Facebook gets your entire contact list and location information. I also read about security issues. I'm not concerned about people reading my messages, because I presume that anyone sophisticated enough could intercept and read my emails if they really wanted to. I am concerned if using the app could open my devices to being hacked.

So what's the dope on WhatsApp? Recommended? Not recommended? Security nightmare or no worse than email? Can you use it without a Facebook account? I don't have one and have no intention of getting one. General comments? My first thought is, Why do I need a messaging app when I have email?

Apparently my cousin likes it because calls and texts are expensive while she's in Europe, and the app is free. (But then she almost never writes or phones when she's home.)
Daniel
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Offline estockly

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 11:53:14 AM »
My cousin, in an email, was raving about how wonderful WhatsApp is. My cousin, according to herself, knows next to nothing about computers. She's in Europe at present and likes the fact that she can text and make phone calls for free with the app.

I looked it up, and see that it's a messaging app, now owned by Facebook, who paid mega-billions for it, though it's free to end users. It looks as though Facebook gets your entire contact list and location information. I also read about security issues. I'm not concerned about people reading my messages, because I presume that anyone sophisticated enough could intercept and read my emails if they really wanted to. I am concerned if using the app could open my devices to being hacked.

So what's the dope on WhatsApp? Recommended? Not recommended? Security nightmare or no worse than email? Can you use it without a Facebook account? I don't have one and have no intention of getting one. General comments? My first thought is, Why do I need a messaging app when I have email?

Apparently my cousin likes it because calls and texts are expensive while she's in Europe, and the app is free. (But then she almost never writes or phones when she's home.)

WhatsApp was (and as far as I know still is) the go to platform for reporters traveling overseas. It was secure, could work reliably in numerous environments, is totally cross platform and very flexible.

When I traveled to England and Europe last with my family, everyone had it on their phones and they would get messages faster than the any of the other messaging options. (we tested it played with it a lot).

We  didn't try to make phone calls with it. It was also very good at letting you compose a message and holding it until you got a good signal and then sending it, and letting you know what was going on.

I hope Facebook doesn't screw it up.
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Offline Tatyana

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 12:28:02 PM »
You can create groups so multiple people can text and post pics to the same message thread. I use it quite a bit to organize things with my friends. The messages are free if you have a wifi connection.

Online Rai

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 02:06:53 PM »
I use it all the time.

You can use it without a Facebook account, you just need a phone number and that's it. I have not seen any sign of Facebook's meddling in it so far.

It has a neat end to end encryption system, and a solid messaging, calling and video calling feature.

Offline Belgarath

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 02:33:55 PM »
Additionally you can disable all the Facebook intrusive crap and it's fine.

If you want a 'secure' app to message, Get Signal.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 03:24:40 PM »
Ideally I prefer to use signal which does the same stuff but seems to be more careful with metadata etc. But the fact is that way more people use whatsapp and thats my main way of stayin in touch with people around the world.
Sharing photos and making phone calls is very easy with it and the risks (to me) seem very low indeed.

I recommend it. I also feel that signal would probably lose some of its integrity if it got big enough to be bought anyway.

Online daniel1948

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 03:58:25 PM »
Thanks for all that info. Probably the only use I'd make of it would be to message my cousin while she's in Europe. For the 3 or 4 people I've ever messaged, texting works fine.
Daniel
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 04:58:38 PM »
Thanks for all that info. Probably the only use I'd make of it would be to message my cousin while she's in Europe. For the 3 or 4 people I've ever messaged, texting works fine.
It works fine, but depending on carrier charges etc, you can save alot of money by using data services instead of sms and standard voice calls.
No international charges, no text bundles. Ive dropped my bills to about 20euros a month by relying more on things like whatsapp.

Online daniel1948

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 06:55:05 PM »
I don't like the quality of voice calls over the internet, so I prefer to keep my regular phone service, which includes unlimited domestic texts and minutes. For international calls I use Telna Dial-Around (I think they've been bought out by another company but my account still works and I still call it Telna in my phone book). My only international calls are to Canada, where Telna charges me 5 cents per minute. Once a year I make several calls to book my hiking trip. I probably ring up three or four dollars for those calls for the year.

My cousin being in Europe is the only reason I might have for using a messaging app. But she never has time to talk anyway. The rest of my remaining family don't even have that, but they do have phones. And my cousin gets her emails.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Harry Black

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 07:15:28 PM »
Oh it absolutely deoends on your usage and personal circumstances! Aswell as what deals you have available to you.
For me it was just cheaper to ditch my unlimited package and get a more data heavy plan. I use less than 5gb per month when alls said and done so I can fit into a very economical plan.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 07:25:50 PM »
You have an iPhone.  All apps are sandboxed, and have no access to other apps or to the OS other than through very limited APIs. There is no risk that any app from the App Store will allow your phone to be "hacked."
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Online daniel1948

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 09:20:56 AM »
Oh it absolutely deoends on your usage and personal circumstances! Aswell as what deals you have available to you.
For me it was just cheaper to ditch my unlimited package and get a more data heavy plan. I use less than 5gb per month when alls said and done so I can fit into a very economical plan.

My plan is unlimited talk and text, and half a gB per month. I've never come anywhere near using that much data. I don't stream media to my phone. Anything worth watching I want a big screen. Things like music and podcasts come via the internet and wi-fi. So I might need to check a web site when I'm out somewhere, or if I forgot to sync my Kindle app before leaving home, or check Google Maps for something.

You have an iPhone.  All apps are sandboxed, and have no access to other apps or to the OS other than through very limited APIs. There is no risk that any app from the App Store will allow your phone to be "hacked."

Thank you. I knew stuff from the iOS App Store is relatively safe. I didn't know it was completely risk free. That's good to know.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Belgarath

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 12:14:22 PM »


Thank you. I knew stuff from the iOS App Store is relatively safe. I didn't know it was completely risk free. That's good to know.

I don't think there's zero risk, for example,  there are apps that are scams.  Apple takes them down as they find them, so you still need to be a bit careful what you use.
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Online daniel1948

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 12:16:42 PM »


Thank you. I knew stuff from the iOS App Store is relatively safe. I didn't know it was completely risk free. That's good to know.

I don't think there's zero risk, for example,  there are apps that are scams.  Apple takes them down as they find them, so you still need to be a bit careful what you use.


Okay, but a popular app, widely used, that's been around for a while should be okay, I'd think?
Daniel
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Online daniel1948

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Re: WhatsApp?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 03:32:22 PM »
So here's another question: How does the app indicate that there's an incoming call? Does it know if I'm on the phone so it can give me a non-intrusive signal? Can I set it to just take a message if I'm on the phone? Or does it produce a ring tone that demands my attention? Regular call waiting just makes a short beep, repeated a few times, and I can ignore it. I never respond to call waiting. I hate it when people put me on hold because they got another call, so I won't do that to other people. Or what if I'm talking on the app and a phone call comes in? The ringing phone will interrupt any other app until I answer or decline.

This is mostly curiosity. Again, my cousin is the only one I'd probably ever use this app with, and then only until she gets back from Europe.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

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