GB WhatsApp, WhatsApp Gold, JT WhatsApp, NS WhatsApp, Yo WhatsApp, and WhatsApp Plus are unofficial modifications of the original WhatsApp app. WhatsApp mods, as they are called, are APKs that bring a lot of extra features and functionality to the messaging app, like making the interface colorful.
However, the use of these “cloned” versions is associated with possible security risks to the mobile phone and users’ personal data. Also, because they violate the terms and conditions of use of the official messenger, the modifications may lead to the definitive ban of the platform.
The use of APKs implies the modification of a device configuration, in which it is necessary to activate the option “Install Unknown Apps”. By performing this procedure, the user may jeopardize the security of the mobile phone.
By completing the APK download in unofficial sources, the installation can exploit system loopholes, besides the possibility of being accompanied by malware or viruses. Below, Techidence has prepared a list explaining how these modifications work and the risks associated with their use.
WhatsApp mods are modifications of the official app. They bring a series of extra features such as the possibility of changing the background color of the application and the simultaneous access to more than one account registered in the messenger. These modifications use the source code of the original application, so it is possible to chat with WhatsApp contacts using the modified APK.
However, the mods are not found in official stores, such as the Play Store or the App Store. This implies that the apps are not necessarily hosted on secure servers, and are not verified. To download them, it is necessary to access third party stores and unknown sites, which can be potentially dangerous since the application can come with a series of malicious programs such as viruses, malware, spyware, and adware.
Some WhatsApp mods offer interesting functions that are even requested by many messenger users. GB WhatsApp, for example, allows users with more than one WhatsApp account to access their profiles on the same device. The APK also allows the creation of a PIN to access certain chats, protecting conversations on the platform and allowing users to see messages that have been deleted.
With GB WhatsApp, it is possible to hide the receipt of messages, the viewing confirmation, and also the status of “online”, “typing” and “recording audio”. The mod can also send larger files, allowing videos up to 16 GB, audio up to 10 MB, uncompressed images, and WhatsApp Status without a time limit.
Some mods increase functionalities to other APKs already modified, as is the case of NS WhatsApp. The application brings extra resources to those already explored by GB WhatsApp, allowing, among other things, greater customization and personalization, including support for 3D effects.
JT WhatsApp says it offers a platform capable of avoiding banning by the official messenger. The statement, however, can not be confirmed, because all modifications are not official and violate the terms and conditions of use of WhatsApp.
The dangers of downloading unofficial versions of WhatsApp are severe. Modifications can pose risks to the mobile phone as it is necessary to disable the security setting that comes with the device and allow the installation of “unknown apps”.
Besides, there is no way to ensure that these APKs offer encryption of conversations or that messages sent do not pass through third-party servers before reaching the recipient, which can compromise security or even facilitate leakage of personal and private information.
Since the applications are not hosted in official stores, it is also not possible to guarantee the authenticity or validate security practices exercised by them. This means that by granting permissions for use such as camera and microphone access, you may be allowing APK to watch you and access your device’s hardware resources without you knowing. Also, users who use unofficial platforms may be banned from the messenger permanently.
Besides the risks presented previously, WhatsApp can also definitively ban the users that use the modified versions of the application, since the use of mods is prohibited by the app. So, if you use the modified messenger, the ideal to avoid the permanent blocking of your account is to migrate to the official service.
To do this, you must access the App options, select the conversations, and save them. Then go to the device settings, tap on “Storage” and then on “File”. Search the APK folder and change its name to “WhatsApp”. After that, download the official messenger app and do the default configuration of the application, confirming your phone number.
It is possible to restore the conversations saved in the application, however, the messenger does not guarantee that the user will be able to keep the conversations since WhatsApp is not compatible with these modified versions.