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WhatsApp is recently on a rage to curb the spread of fake news and spam on its platform. With this intention, the platform recently imposed a limit on the number of forwards that a user can send to five chats. Now, the Facebook-owned messaging platform has rolled out another new feature.
Earlier this month, the Suspicious Link Indicator feature was spotted on the WhatsApp Android beta version 2.18.104. While the same was under testing for so long, now it has been rolled out to all the users of the Android Beta version of the app starting from 2.18.221.
In addition to rolling out this feature, WhatsApp has updated its FAQ page on the official website to detail how this feature actually works. It shows under which circumstances the link will be shown as a suspicious one to the recipient.
Suspicious Link Indicator on WhatsApp
According to WABetaInfo, WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.221 gets this feature. Even we at Gizbot with the version 2.18.222 have received the feature. The update will simply warn users who receive a suspicious link before they open it as seen in the image above. WhatsApp will alert the user by looking for the presence of usual characters in the link. Also, two options will be given on clicking on the link - Open Link and Go Back.
Notably, this Suspicious Link Detection feature is yet to be rolled out to the iOS and Windows Phone users of WhatsApp. We can expect the same to be rolled out as a part of the future updates.
How does it work
In the FAQ page, WhatsApp notes that the Suspicious Link Indicator will analyze the combination of characters in the link. Sometimes, the malicious links will have characters that appear to redirect you to a legitimate website but end up tricking you to an unsafe one.
This feature is definitely a step taken by WhatsApp towards combating phishing, the spread of fake news and spoofing. It may not be highly effective, but it lets users know that the link they have received is not safe, which has been a huge problem for now.