Online privacy: Viber Launches End-to-end Chat Encryption

After the biggest news about whatsapp launching their end-to-end chat encryption, Viber follows their journey for bringing online privacy to its users. On the third week of April 2016, Viber announced that the end-to-end chat encryption will be available. Although there is no specific date when it is. The roll out will be available in two weeks but no specific date yet. It will apply to the one-to-one conversations, group messages and cross-platform messages. Their users will do anything to encrypt their messages aside from updating their Viber apps to its latest version. Michael Shmilov, Viber’s COO wrote in a blog post “Today we’re excited to announce that our users will be able to securely communicate across all of their devices through end-to-end encryption. We have been working on this for a long time and are proud that our users can confidently use Viber without fear of their messages being intercepted — whether it is in a one-to-one or group message, on a call, on desktop, mobile or tablet.”

While WhatsApp has more than one billion users and Viber has about 700 million worldwide users, the development is not quite as significant at WhatsApp did. For Viber, their users will receive a notification saying that their conversation have been fully encrypted and they can confirm their encryption status by looking for that gray padlock on the app. An individual cryptography key associated with the user’s  device an extra layer of security will also be provided by Viber. It will allow the user to manually authenticate contact as their trusted contact and will change the lock color to green. Once the color of the lock changes to red, it means that the authentication key has a problem. It may be the user changed his or her device, or indicating a man-in-the-middle-attack. The user needs to re-verify to confirm the new authentication keys.

There is another Viber feature being announced which is the launching of Hidden Chats. It is a security feature which lets users hide their specific chats on the main screen of their devices. These hidden chats are invisible to everyone except the users who hide them. An extra level of privacy will be granted for users who might share one device with their family members and coworkers. They are also expanding into different types of services like enterprise offerings. It will allow enterprises to communicate with customers by using the app. Avita Litan said to Newsfactor that “Corporate clients are definitely concerned about backdoors. They don’t want the U.S .or any other government spying on their employees.” With this new encryption feature it only tells us how messaging apps are into online privacy too.