With over 1 billion downloads to date, WhatsApp has become the de facto communications app of choice for people all over the world, whether they’re chatting with their friends or their boss.
Nonetheless, there are many issues with privacy and data security when it comes to WhatsApp, encouraging many businesses to opt for more enterprise-ready communications apps in order to fulfill their organization compliance standards and retain privacy. Here we go over some of the main issues with WhatsApp with regard to business communications.
Privacy and data security
As you’re probably aware, communications between employees and employers often contain sensitive material and content which could be detrimental to the company if it got into the wrong hands. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that all information shared between coworkers (about official business duties) undergoes strict privacy and data security measures which ensure its safety. This is particularly sensitive in industries such as Aviation, Marine pursuits, Transportation, Governments, and Hospitality services.
GDPR, which you’ve undoubtedly heard of, explains the privacy and data security measures that businesses must take to ensure their organization compliance with GDPR. WhatsApp fails to live up to these GDPR standards for organization compliance with privacy and data security standards, making it more and more common for companies to switch to alternative enterprise-ready means of communication. Apps such as Envoyer already meet all of the necessary GDPR requirements for privacy and data security, making them an enterprise-ready app for sound organization compliance.
Data privacy records
You’ve probably seen Facebook pop up in the news a lot lately due to its lackadaisical attitude toward data privacy. Whether it’s Cambridge Analytica or it’s manipulation of advertising, Zuckerburg and co have been caught out doing some very shady things with users’ data. It’s worth remembering at this point that Facebook owns WhatsApp, so make of that what you will.
In 2015, the Electronic Frontier Foundation conducted a report which aimed to rank how well various communications platforms handled their users’ privacy. WhatsApp came in dead last. Similarly, the European Court of Justice ruled that Facebook does not afford users with an adequate level of protection for their data. As a result, using Facebook-operated platforms such as WhatsApp may lead to data privacy issues.
Group messaging limits
If you’re looking for a large chat which allows you to make general announcements to a large company, then WhatsApp isn’t ideal. WhatsApp chats are limited to a maximum group of 100 people, which may or may not be of use to you. If you’re looking to hold chats between different departments, then 100 people may be enough. However, those looking to replace mass emails with mass WhatsApp announcements may find that 100 number too limiting if they wish to cover all their bases within a large company.
Changing phone numbers
If an employee changes their phone number when they get a new phone, and a new person receives their old phone number, then that person who now uses their phone number will automatically have access to all the WhatsApp chats and messages associated with the phone number. Unless you’re very savvy at managing your WhatsApp groups and keeping on top of who is who within them, it’s very possible that you could have “lurkers” spying on your private business information and using it for personal (or indeed corporate) gain.
Poor work/life separation
WhatsApp uses your mobile phone number in order to identify you, as opposed to using a login and password system. While this is convenient for people who are looking for a casual alternative to texting their family/friends, it can create all kinds of problems for businesspeople. For example, unless you have a separate work phone and a personal phone, it becomes very difficult to separate your personal and professional means of communication. This could see you sending out sensitive business information to people outside of the company by accident, causing a breach in security.
This mixing of your personal life and professional life can also be detrimental to employee morale and satisfaction. Employees like to feel temporarily absolved from their professional responsibilities once they step out of the office, yet receiving constant WhatsApp messages about their work can make them feel as though they are permanently chained to the office’s problems and messages when they’re at home trying to relax.
The bottom line
Many businesses are growing tired of WhatsApp and are opting for more business-centric communication platforms. There are many enterprise-ready communication apps out there which are designed with businesses in mind, taking organization compliance and GDPR into account, as well as privacy, data security, and employee satisfaction.
Why not try Envoyer today?
With us, encryption and safety is our top priority