Messenger seem to have finally hung on web-enabled mobile phones (= Short Message Service) SMS. In 2012, the first time more short messages via instant messenger such as WhatsApp, IM + or Viber sent as SMS. Your use is much cheaper compared to the SMS delivery usually. LOOKING TO GO! Tips for the safe handling of instant messengers.
What is Instant Messaging?
Instant Messaging (English: “instant messaging”) allows it – similar to the chat – near real-time messages exchange between the participants. Unlike SMS Messenger services are not a separate service of mobile operator, but can access the internet. Besides well-known messengers like WhatsApp and social networks like Facebook and companies like Microsoft and Yahoo have their own instant messaging systems as an app for mobile devices. Can be roughly divided into native mobile messenger apps that are specifically designed for mobile use, eg WhatsApp, kik for mac, Viber, Snapchat and services that are now available as a desktop version, but also via app, for example, Skype, Facebook Messenger and ICQ.
How does an Instant Messenger?
The Instant Messenger programs offered on the Website of the provider or the various app stores to download. After downloading the program to the smartphone, the user can create an account. From the information he enters here, later the own Messenger profile is created. Upon completion of the registration you receive a password and a unique user ID, which can be either the e-mail address, a user name or phone number. Most Instant Messenger do not require repeated application. The user opens the relevant app, he can – so far an Internet connection is made – directly access messages. His friends, the user is displayed in this moment as “online”.
One of the currently most popular Instant Messenger WhatsApp is. Currently 13.7 million people in Germany use the service. Worldwide, the use of 250 million active users. As the JIM study in 2013 shows 70 percent of young mobile phone owners in Germany “WhatsApp” installed on their phone. For 81 percent of app-owners include Messenger apps to the main – almost all entries in this category are accounted for by “WhatsApp” (80%). The WhatsApp Messenger is an app for Internet-enabled mobile phones that allows users on different operating systems (iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Android, etc.) of time to communicate with each other. The name is the English phrase “What’s up?” (“What’s wrong?”, “What’s going on?”) Ajar and is complemented by an “app” (engl. Application “application”).
The sending of messages through the WhatsApp Messenger is via an Internet connection. It is therefore – apart from cost of the mobile Internet – free of charge to send messages using WhatsApp. The message can attach photos, video and audio files as well as contacts and their own location. In addition to the exchange of messages between two people, also communicating in groups is possible.
How much is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp Messenger the obtained in the corresponding app store its operating system. It is free for all operating systems, download the application and for a year to use. WhatsApp is funded by an annual fee, which is payable from the second year and $ 0.99 (approx 0.89) is. The subscription fee is not deducted automatically – you have to agree with her in all cases.
How do I sign up for WhatsApp?
WhatsApp for you do not need another user name and a PIN. Registration takes place on its own, existing mobile phone number. If you have installed the application, it first requests access to the address to connect automatically with your own contacts. This is a process that has been criticized by privacy advocates always sharp. More on this under “Problems with the Data Protection”. The contacts have also installed the WhatsApp Messenger will be automatically displayed in the app. Now you can – write as with SMS – communicate with all these people.
While installing the WhatsApp Messenger will be prompted to set a custom profile picture and enter a name. The selected image is displayed in the Connection Profile in communicating with others. Uploading a profile picture is optional. If no profile image is selected, the contacts will either display the image that have this saved in their address for a person or a generic placeholder image.
In addition, there is the opportunity to submit a status message, which can be viewed by the WhatsApp contacts. This is a real-time display, with which one can keep his contacts informed of it, what you are doing. If a user sets a status, anyone who has saved his number and has WhatsApp, see this message, even if the user is offline can. A status message can view it by opening the WhatsApp Messenger and on the “favorites” – or “Select Contact” list goes. Where it is located below the names of the contacts. The status message is also optional.
The mobile phone number of a contact must be stored in its own address so that we can communicate via WhatsApp with this. In addition, the contact must have WhatsApp installed and enabled on his phone again. If a contact that is in your own address book has WhatsApp installed on his smartphone / cell phone, it automatically appears in the “Select Contact” or Favorite list.
The group chat
Another feature that distinguishes the WhatsApp Messenger of the ordinary SMS, is the function of the group chats. In a group of up to 50 contacts can be made. The one who founded the group, is automatically the administrator and is the only person who can add more participants to the group. Here you will find detailed instructions on how to use a group for each operating system
The broadcast function allows you to send a message to many people without the individual recipient know who has not yet received the message but him. A broadcast can be sent to up to 50 contacts at a time. The recipient must have saved in Contacts, to receive the message to their own phone number. This is to prevent spam.
Timestamp: “… last seen” and “online”
“Online” and “last seen …” indicate whether a contact is online or when he was active the last time in WhatsApp. The specification can be found in the chat window of the corresponding contact in their name. “Online”: A contact has opened WhatsApp and has an Internet connection. “Last time online …”: The date on which the contact has left the application.
Problems with Parental Controls
“You did affirm you are more than 16 years Either of age, or at minor emancipated, or possess legal parental or guardian consent, and are fully able and competent to enter into the terms, conditions, obligations, affirmations, representations, and warranties set forth in synthesis Terms of Service, and to abide by and comply with synthesis Terms of Service. In any case, you affirm you are at least did 16 years old as the WhatsApp service is not Intended for children under 16. If you are under 16 years of age, you are not permitted to use the WhatsApp service … “(Stand: 25.07.2013, Source: / legal)
Before downloading the application will be controlled in any way, whether the user is at least 16 years old or not. iTunes, the App Store of Apple, writes for the WhatsApp Messenger even the recommendation “4+” of, ie for children from four years.
In the past, WhatsApp has been repeatedly criticized because of serious safety deficiencies. By May 2012, the data traffic between the mobile phone and the server was WhatsApp for example. Not encrypted. This means chat messages and sent pictures were when you were online in a public wireless network, relatively easily hacked seen by third parties and users accounts. Today it says on the website of WhatsApp Inc .: “WhatsApp communication between your phone and our servers are fully encrypted. We save your chat history is not on our servers. All chat messages are private and will only be stored until they can be delivered . “. Whether this is indeed so, it may be doubted, for reports that user accounts were hacked and then bombarded with spam make the rounds again.
WhatsApp Inc. is still mainly due to the transfer of names and phone numbers in the public criticism. Privacy advocates complain that when using the app the full address of the user is forwarded unencrypted to the server by WhatsApp Inc. American. Thus, these data can theoretically be picked up easily by potential attackers on the way. Is extremely problematic, especially that this is not only to their own data, but also to the data of people who do not even have the WhatsApp Messenger might.
How can you protect yourself?
WhatsApp Inc. was and is criticized not sufficient to guarantee the security of user data. This is especially true for the older versions of the Messengers. For this reason it is advisable to at least always use the latest version of WhatsApp Messenger. Updates should, as soon as these are published, are also installed!
Note: If you use WhatsApp, one must be aware that the application to the address book of your own mobile phone access. Because only in this way does the principle of WhatsApp: The identification of contacts that have WhatsApp, via the data from the address book, and only in this way it is possible, with all its contacts on WhatsApp to communicate.
Problems with privacy
WhatsApp has not only access to the complete phone book, but also on SMS messages and calendar entries, and pictures. It is not possible to restrict access. Since privacy settings in WhatsApp are not available, it is up to the users themselves to pay attention to sent content. That is, you should only send such content that should read or see. It also applies here: Think before you write!
Of the few ways to protect the data is essential to make use of. So users can issue in WhatsApp others to see when you were last online (“timestamp”) and her profile picture or their status made available only to certain people. In any case, parents are well advised to study the access permissions of the app before installation, security settings of the application and to activate the device, turn off location services and to examine encrypted alternatives.
Problem of unwanted contact
About WhatsApp it is only possible to establish contact with someone about whose number you have. In general, the concerns those contacts that are also found in their own address book. However, it may also be the case that the user receives the unknown person contact. This is for example possible if the own mobile phone number is a larger public. So they find some social networks etc. It may also happen that mobile phone numbers have been intercepted during transmission from the mobile phone to the WhatsApp server by unauthorized third parties, and these are then used by them.
When receiving a message from an unknown number, displayed in the chat window the buttons “Add” and “blocking”. If you click on “Block”, you will no longer receive messages from the unknown contact. The ability to block a number in advance, does not exist. If a blocked contact, obtained from this via WhatsApp no ??more messages, then also it is no longer possible to send the blocked person messages. In addition, the blocked person can not see, when to “last seen …” was or whether it is just “online”. Nor display changes to the own profile. Are you a contact free again, it does not receive messages that have this sent in the time of its blockade. Detailed instructions for blocking a person for any OS can be found here:
However, there are two important things that you can not prevent by blocking: The status is still visible to the blocked person where the own number appears under her WhatsApp favorites. Removed by blocking you contact either of its WhatsApp list, yet removed from its own number list. To delete a contact from the list WhatsApp own, you have to delete it from the address book. Even if a WhatsApp contact was blocked in the service itself, it is still possible for them to annoy them with the mobile phone number via SMS, MMS etc. someone on. So you realize that you were blocked with WhatsApp: You can see the time stamp “last seen …” and no longer see “online” in the chat window of the contact. All messages you send to this contact, be (sent message) only with a check and are never (sent message) with two hooks in. Tip: To prevent the contact from strangers, you should always consider carefully in the first place, in which cases it indicates his mobile phone number and most importantly, who to notifying!
Problem with Cyber-Bullying
Young WhatsApp users use the application not only for positive exchange among themselves. Also bullying cases on WhatsApp among young people to take (as of 29.03.2013; source:). Bullying is about to judge the entries in the help forums, especially in WhatsApp instead of groups. It is insulting not only by text, injured or marginalized, but also with images, audio files or videos. WhatsApp is problematic because an offender can not be “Report”. This means that the people that pose the bullying, so that can continue to fear that the provider without sanctions.
Tip: You should not publish content that could be used by other persons adversely (eg, painful or very private photos). If users are too pushy and mean, you can also block them and thus prevent contact.
Note: Cyber-bullying is also in the case of WhatsApp not a trivial offense, but can have serious consequences. For this reason, it is always important to talk about bullying with a person of trust. It is helpful also to make phone screenshots of any statements or save files to it thus can be used in a display.