WhatsApp has taken an effort to combat spam, spoofing and phishing on its platform recently by starting a testing feature in Android beta version 2.18.204. However, this testing was limited to a very small number of beta users. But now, WhatsApp has rolled out the Suspicious Link Indicator feature to all of the beta users with version 2.18.221. And to know better about this feature WhatsApp has set up a FAQ page on its website.
WhatsApp beta on Android 2.18.221 has the feature to tag a ‘Suspicious Link’ whenever a contact sends to you (firstly spotted on WABetaInfo). This feature allows users to warn about the suspicious link before it can be opened by them. Whatsapp will also reportedly alert the user once again by looking for unusual characters if they try to open the link. There will be two options are given to the user, Open Link or Go Back. This feature is only available to the beta users of Android not for Windows/iOS it may be available soon in future updates.
In the FAQ page, WhatsApp says, “This indicator may appear when a link contains a combination of characters that is considered unusual. Spammers may use these character combinations to trick you into tapping on link that appear to go a legitimate website, but actually take you to a malicious site”. The company also claims that the links will checked automatically, due to end-to-end encryption, i.e announced in November of 2014.
Well this latest feature will act as a measure against spoofing,spam and phishing, but it may be not as much effective to combating the fake news, which is the major problem for WhatsApp at this moment.
Earlier this week, WhatsApp announced that it is planning to limit message forwarding capabilities for Indian users in the wake of mob incidents in the country. The plan includes a lower limit of 5 messages and the removal of the “quick forward” shortcut from media messages. The company also claimed that Indian users forward more messages and videos than any other market in the world.