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WhatsApp’s next feature to save you from spam, malicious links

Even as WhatsApp is fixing the problem of misinformation and fake news on its platform, it is quietly building a new feature that will help you identify spam links. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming feature.

tech Updated: Jul 21, 2018 15:21 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
WhatsApp,WhatsApp Suspicious Link Detection,WhatsApp Fake News
Here’s everything you need to know about WhatsApp’s new suspicious link detection feature(AFP)

WhatsApp has swung into action after getting pulled up by the government over not doing enough to control the spread of misinformation, rumours and fake news on its platform. The instant messaging company has launched a few initiatives to resolve this problem and is now coming up with another solution to ensure users’ privacy and curb spams.

WhatsApp is testing a new feature called “suspicious link detection” which as the name suggests will warn users about links that can compromise their security. These links will be especially pointed out in red colour with a label “Suspicious Link.” WhatsApp will also hide the link url and if a user proceeds to click the link, they will be shown a notification — “Suspicious Link. This link contains unusual characters. It maybe trying to appear as another site.”

As reported by WABetainfo, a website that regularly monitors the platform, the feature has made its way to the beta version of WhatsApp (v 2.18.221). The feature, however, has been part of the previous beta version as well. ALSO READ: How to make group video, audio calls on WhatsApp

The latest WhatsApp feature seems highly inspired by Google’s notification for malicious link on search results that says “This site may harm your computer.” Google shows notifications to warn about the websites that could allow programmes to install malicious software on users’ computers.

Apart from warning about spam links, WhatsApp has introduced features to curb the spread of fake news on the platform. The company recently rolled out “forwarded” label for messages that have been simply forwarded by users. It also announced testing a limit of forwarding up to five messages. ALSO READ: How to download and export your WhatsApp data

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 15:15 IST