Messaging mobile apps doesn't cease to be updated and launch new features to improve their service. If yesterday Viber announced the Public Chat Rooms that allows to chat with some celebrities and popular people, today WhatsApp announce that the messages sent from this application will be encrypted.
Until now, the messages that are sent with WhatsApp are not encrypted. This means that any person with access to the same WiFi network, and making use of a traffic Sniffer, could easily capture the data packets transmitted by WhatsApp and read the conversations that occurred in our phone. It is true that if we make use of the 3G mobile phone network connection, it is more complicated to steal the conversations. Even thus, it is common to connect our mobile phone to public networks of hotels, restaurants, airports, etc. And in these places is where it is more simple steal out information. That is why, this news is something that is very important, as it will prevent the possibility of someone try to steal information from our WhatsApp conversations.
Data encryption means that our messages will be encrypted from the first beginning when the text was sent from our mobile, until it reach the recipient's mobile phone, so anyone who capture those packets of data, will not be able to see the content of those packets. The encrypted data will be decrypted only when these data is on mobile phone of the recipient.
To perform this encryption, the program make use of TextSecure, an open source software created by Whisper Systems, and assure, that this encryption process will not have any impact on the speed of sending and receiving messages.
At the time the encryption of the messages is being tested, and has only been implemented in the versions of Android. In addition still not encrypt group messages, or the multimedia content (video, audio, and images). In spite of this, this is a very important step to increase the security on the communications made by the most important mobile phone messaging app of the market, making the theft of private information, as much complicated as possible.