Is WeChat Safe to Use in 2022
WeChat is a popular Chinese app for messaging and social networking developed by Tencent Holdings Limited. The app is renowned worldwide, but it mainly hosts Chinese users. It was developed in 2011 and has 1.2 billion active users worldwide. As WhatsApp is blocked in China, WeChat is the best option for socializing there. But is WeChat safe? Let’s find out.
Messaging apps are great for people who want to stay in touch with their family and friends. WhatsApp is the top messaging app across the globe. However, as the Chinese government ban goes into effect, WhatsApp got blocked in China.
WhatsApp is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app, so the Chinese government banned it, and to monitor users, they have created a new app called WeChat.
What is WeChat?
WeChat is a Chinese social media, payment, and messaging app. This app is one of the most downloaded apps in the world. Due to its communication and integration features, it became popular. It’s a multi-purpose app with WeChat and WeChat pay options.
It means that people in China can use the WeChat app for various purposes, including online payments, mobile payments, social media, ride booking, scheduling an appointment, etc.
In 2014, this app had nearly 22 million downloads in the Apple App Store and Google Play United States. WeChat supports multiple operating systems like Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows.
What Are the Features of the WeChat App?
WeChat is known as one of the best Chinese messaging apps. However, besides messaging function, the app also serves users with various other benefits. Since its release, many updates and features have been added to the app. Here are some of the most significant WeChat app features listed:
With the WePay feature, users can instantly transfer money within the app. This feature acts as a wallet and has replaced the need for credit or debit cards.
The WeChat text messaging features allows users to send and receive texts to whomever they want.
Like WhatsApp’s location-sharing feature, WeChat also enables its users to share real-time locations with contacts.
Online Article Reading
The WeChat app also has a feature that enables users to go online and read articles that are publicly available by the users.
Virtual Envelopes sending
The app also offers the facility to send virtual envelopes to anyone in your contacts. It means you can send virtual cash red envelopes to anyone hassle-free.
With the WeChat app, you can also get access to various publicly available services. For example, you can create an appointment with your doctor or consultant.
Find nearby people
The WeChat app also offers a Shake and Look Around option to find people nearby you.
Access to Third-party Features:
Use the WeChat app to access different features like booking a ride, ordering food, or shopping from your favorite shop.
WeChat offers a bundle of benefits for its local users; it allows you to pay online bills using the WeChat app.
The chatting app also has some privacy risks associated. Unlike WhatsApp, WeChat doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption. All the chats sent and received through the app are monitored and affiliated with third parties that read each chat.
Is WeChat safe? – WeChat Security Issues
WeChat is one of the most downloaded apps on the Apple Store and Google Play. It also offers a huge set of features to the users. However, the app exercises the Chines government jurisdiction; therefore, there are a few privacy concerns that should be aware of.
Below we are outlining a few privacy concerns related to the WeChat app:
Monitoring and Surveillance Within the App
The WeChat app is heavily monitored by the Chinese government. People have been arrested for speaking ill about the government via text messages. Not only that, if any of your messages is against the government censorship policy, the message will be censored without informing you.
Besides monitoring and surveillance, the WeChat app also logs your data. The developers of the app constantly log user data and might send the information to third-party applications and the government when needed.
WeChat doesn’t support End-to-End Encryption
Since WeChat messages are not end-to-end encrypted, any hacker can easily exploit or hack your chats. Moreover, without encryption, it’s very easy for third-party applications to read and access your messages. Therefore, the WeChat app could be very unsafe, especially for people with sensitive jobs like Whistleblowers or Journalists.
Many countries have already blocked WeChat app because of the rumors that the app contains spyware and records users’ activities. Also, such malware secretly functions in your device without you knowing about it. Such malware can disrupt your device settings or install malicious apps without notifying you.
How to Use WeChat safely
Following the right safety measures will ensure the safest WeChat usage. Here’s how to use WeChat safely:
Use a strong password
The best way to use WeChat safely is to use a strong and unique password for your WeChat account. Don’t use the same password for your other handles. It will keep your WeChat app private to a greater extent.
Limit app permissions
While using the WeChat app, make sure to limit the app permissions. Try to enable a few permissions only which are required to run the app.
Don’t send sensitive information
If you’re using the WeChat app, make sure not to share any sensitive data within the app. You can try others secure messaging apps or talk to the individual in person.
Use WeChat on a secure network
Since WeChat is quite a vulnerable app, therefore, it’s highly recommended to use the app on a network that is known and secure. Using this app on public Wi-Fi could increase the chances of hacking attacks.
Logout after using the app
WeChat generally keeps you logged in even after using the app. This could be a risky situation, especially if someone else accesses your account. You must log out of the WeChat app every time after using it.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN is the best option to keep all your information secure and private. Connect with iProVPN to stay anonymous and secure from hacking attacks.
WeChat app has diverse features and benefits for its local users. However, it doesn’t support end-to-end encryption, which raises many questions and security holes when it comes to the app’s security and privacy. If you still want to use the WeChat app, you can follow our listed security measures to keep your WeChat experience safe and private.
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