Facebook Messenger users warned to stop using the app on iPhone and Android phones
IPhone and Android users are warned to avoid Facebook Messenger after a security update is reportedly delayed.
The service has come under fire for not using end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned app, putting privacy and content at risk.
The delayed update is linked to concerns that Messenger’s encryption leads to undetected child exploitation.
Encryption would mean that no one, not even Facebook, would be able to read messages between a sender and recipient.
Currently, harmful messages and content in Facebook Messenger chats can be reported.
Cyber security expert Zac Doffman wrote in Forbes: “Messenger users reading this should switch their personal chats to WhatsApp (or Signal) and leave Messenger for trivial communications and children.
“You certainly shouldn’t use it as your default messaging platform if you’re on Android, where switching from the default operating system is an option, unlike iOS.”
Zac believes that not all social media chat platforms need to be encrypted, but said they have some advantages, including protecting children from predators.
He suggested that Messenger could be left for a legal interception to take place, but said users should be given the option to choose end-to-end encrypted services.
Facebook Messenger told Forbes, “We have strong security measures in place designed to prevent damage from happening in the first place and to give people control to react if it does.
“Working together also gives us more information to identify abusive accounts and allows us to introduce behind-the-scenes security features, such as restricting interactions between adults and minors. “