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WhatsApp is accused to be the major source of spreading fake news. In India, the fake news the fake news has resulted in serious issues such as lynching. In the wake of this issue, it looks like the company is all set to roll out a new feature to curb the spread of malware.
According to WABetaInfo, every time someone shares a link on WhatsApp, you will get a preview of the contents of the page. This useful feature is said to alert users if they are sharing a potentially harmful link.
The link preview feature is said to inform the users when they sending or receiving links to a webpage, which is determined to be a malicious one. When a potentially harmful link is shared via the app, users will get a 'Suspicious Link' warning in red hinting that the link is harmful.
In addition to this feature, WhatsApp will inform users when they tap on the link and give them two options - opening the same and going back. The report also confirms that the webpage data is analyzed locally as it is an encrypted platform. It also means that the link preview feature scans the links and determines if it is harmful.
While the report and the shared screenshots do not clarify which links are marked suspicious, it is believed that the lack of HTTPS in the URL is one of the indicators of an unsafe link. However, it is not confirmed to be a harmful link as it is only a suspicion.
The report further adds that this feature is under testing and is yet to be rolled out to the users. It is said that the feature is unavailable even for the beta users for now. We can expect the messaging platform to integrate a third-party service to actively track the suspicious links. However, the alert systems used by Chrome and Firefox are quite useful in identifying the unsafe links.
Though there is no official confirmation from WhatsApp regarding the link preview feature, we hope it will curb the spread of malware and fake links in the current scenario wherein a lot of links are being shared among users.