Telegram popularly advertises itself as the safest messaging platform in today’s world of whatsapp, messenger, line etc. Telegram boasts that it provides a much higher level of encryption than its counterparts and has a higher level of security against attacks from potential hackers. Despites all these claims it seems that the newly introduced nearby people feature has led to a serious privacy concern for the users. Read on to know all about how Telegram can pinpoint your exact location to the hacker! And how to protect yourself!!
Is telegram safe?
- When telegram was created in 2013 it was advertised as a revolutionary messaging app which would combine speed with ultra security.
- It has new security features like, secret chats with end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages which it’s competition lacked.
- In 2013 after the PRISM fiasco of the United states national security agency came into light, there were a lot of apprehensions among the people about the safety of such messaging platforms.
- With an aim to counter such sentiment and make people feel safe, two russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, who were already famous for their social site VKontakte, decided to make something that was “really secure and fun at the same time.”
- The result was telegram, launched for iOS on 14 August 2013 and Android in October 2013, it worked on a non-profit modal to earn trust and provided a cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging, video calling and VoIP service.
- Due to the high security and anonymity it provided to its users, telegram soon became a popular choice among the users with downloads on play stores crossing well over 500 million.
But recently there has been some apprehensions regarding the privacy concerns on the app.
Are you being tracked?
Telegram launched the people nearby feature recently, the feature allows users to search for the people living in their vicinity and hence connect with them.
- The feature is not on by default and the users have to manually enable it, thus giving permission to the app to use their location.
- The feature was quite a hit for sometime but soon a software engineer Ahmed Hassan, did some experiments and showed that the feature risks the users privacy, against potential hackers.
- Though the feature looks safe at first glance because it just shares the general location and not the exact coordinates of the location. But after some research Hassan showed that any hacker can use the triangulation strategy to pinpoint the exact location quite well.
- He writes in his blog that any hacker “can spoof their location for three points and use them to draw three triangulation circles.” and using this can potentially get the exact location of the user.
Thus this poses a serious threat to the privacy of the users.
Was it a bug?
Hassan shared his findings to telegram, thinking it may have been a bug and the company would rectify it.
But the company in reply said it was not an issue and there was no bug. The company said “it’s expected that determining the exact location is possible under certain conditions.”
Thus it’s now up to the user to decide whether they find the feature worthy enough to risk their privacy.
So beware!!! and maybe it’s time to turn the nearby feature off if you want to be really secure…
Read more: Whatsapp new hacking scam in 2021!