Fine on Whatsapp Triggers Data Privacy Concerns

3 minutes

How often do you use your Whatsapp? Is your Whatsapp the main way of communication for both personal and business requirements? For 31-year-old Pranjali, the answer to the second question is a resounding yes. Considering the first question, it is safe to say that the freelance website developer checks her Whatsapp at least 50times on a given day. Pranjali uses Whatsapp as the major way of connecting with her contacts, which includes everyone from her family and friends, to her clients and potential customers. However, the people in her contacts, or potential clients, are not the only people messaging her on Whatsapp. In fact, Pranjali receives about 4-5 spam messages every week, and this number has been rising on a weekly basis. Just yesterday, an unknown number tried to get in touch with her, offering her a job which would require a few hours of her time,and earn her 2000 to 3000 rupees per day. Luckily for her, Pranjali was awareof such frauds and reported and blocked the number right away.

Spamming via Whatsapp

Imagine what youwould have done if you had received a similar message, from a number whichseems to originate from the US. Would you continue talking, and sharing personal information, if you did not know about the various spammers using Whatsapp? In today’s day and age, when cybercrime is becoming an enormousmenace, a number of people are complaining about the increasing prevalence ofWhatsapp scams. According to news reports,the latest survey by LocalCircles states that 95% of WhatsApp users in India receive at least one spam or promotional message, on a daily basis. Further,41% of Indian users have reported receiving four or more annoying messages every day, depicting the insidious nature of spam on the messaging app. While many of these messages include advertisements or promotions, there are a few,like the ones Pranjali received, which may force individuals to part with their personal data and face the brunt of cybercrime.

Fines on Whatsapp

The breach of data privacy in India is not a lone issue. Earlier this year, Whatsapp was fined 5.5 million euros, or a whopping $5.95 million, by Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner, due to the messaging app’s breach of privacy laws in the country. According to reports, the DPC prompted WhatsApp to reassess its usage of personal data for service improvements, in line with its rulings on Instagram and Facebook ,highlighting the data privacy concerns visible across the globe. In India,steps to boost data privacy for Whatsapp and other social media platforms have resulted in naught, and the lack of awareness among users is of further concern. This is because fraudsters are known to target unwitting individuals in an attempt to fleece them of their savings or misappropriate their identity.If you are also worried about the safety and privacy of your or your family’s Whatsapp usage, here is some good news for you.

Virtual numbers tackle the issue

For many Whatsapp users in India, their primary number is linked with Whatsapp, while,at the same time, also being linked with their personal data and information including their bank accounts, Aadhar card, PAN card, ATM card, etc. In this scenario, if your Whatsapp number gets leaked, or you share personal information with spammers, via this single point of contact, you may find yourself at risk of fraud or cybercrime. So, what is a potential solution in such a scenario? Since you, and countless others like Pranjali, utilise Whatsapp for their personal and business needs, you cannot stop using the platform due to privacy concerns. What you can actually do is sign up for a virtual number, which can be used to operate Whatsapp on your phone. When you use a virtual number for Whatsapp, you can easily stay connected with your contacts, while also foregoing the fear of your personal number falling into the hands of miscreants. This will ensure a Chinese wall between your Whatsapp usage and your personal data, thus allowing you to breathe a sigh of relief.

Doosra Virtual Numbers – Your Chinese Wall

If you are wondering about how to get a virtual number for yourself or your near and dear ones, let us make your life easy. With Doosra, you can now enjoy a host of privacy-focused solutions, from a smart call blocker which blocks all calls,except the ones by trusted contacts, by default, and a voice mail which allows your callers to leave you a message and reach you when you are unavailable. You can also use the Doosra number when sharing your details at supermarkets or e-commerce sites, reducing the possibility of spam. It is very easy to get a Doosra number as all you need to do is share your primary number and your KYC details. Once this is done and verified, Doosra will allot you a virtual phone number which can satisfy all your communication needs without compromising your personal number or your data privacy in any way. Best of all, when you stop using the Doosra number, your KYC documents will be deleted automatically,ensuring that your details remain safe, secure and anonymous, always.