Encrypted Messages on Multiple Devices May Increase Risks, Experts Say

After its July announcement that multi-device capabilities were in beta, WhatsApp users rejoiced at the idea of being able to log in across several devices. But will the added convenience come with tradeoffs for privacy? Here’s what you need to know.

Despite its acclaimed encryption protocol, the popular messaging app has come under fire a few times in recent years (and, er, yesterday) for numerous vulnerabilities, raising questions about its security. Experts caution there also could be tradeoffs when connecting multiple devices to any encrypted communication app.

“[The question] is not just adding more devices, but are they always secure?” Steven M. Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University, told Lifewire in a phone interview. “The security phrase is ‘attack surface’—in how many places can you be attacked, and in how many different ways?”

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