If you’re looking to supercharge your WhatsApp experience with some unofficial features, you might be tempted to try a mod. These versions of the app can offer chat options and customisable UIs that WhatsApp proper can’t provide. No matter how good the deal seems, however, we strongly recommend you don’t use them.
It’s important to understand that WhatsApp mods aren’t normal apps. You won’t find them on the Play Store, because they aren’t allowed to be. Instead, you need to sideload the software on your device before you can start to use it.
The Play Store makes a difference
When you download an app like WhatsApp from the Play Store, you know that software went through some level of security clearance. While the system isn’t perfect, and bad apps do make their way to the store, Google doesn’t just sell any random app to its users.
There are also added security measures when you download an app from the Play Store. Google runs a safety check on the app itself, as well as your device, to make sure there aren’t any harmful apps in your library. It’s also clear ahead of time what permissions an app is going to ask of your device, so you know right away if an app wants you to be more of an open book than you might be comfortable with.
Sideloaded apps don’t need to go through any of these security steps, unless they’re tied to a trusted source. While it’s a great way to run programs outside the Google Play Store, there’s an inherent risk to the practice.
WhatsApp mods are unsafe malware spreaders
Worse yet, this isn’t some hypothetical risk, like you’d assume with sideloading certain apps. WhatsApp mods are known targets for malware and fraud. Take FMWhatsApp, for example; this WhatsApp mod was recently discovered spreading the Triada mobile Trojan, infecting devices with code that can read SMSs, open ads, and launch subscriptions.
Speaking of reading SMSs, WhatsApp mods aren’t end-to-end encrypted. That means that your messages aren’t protected by the same security measures that you normally get with WhatsApp, exposing your conversations to third parties. While one of FMWhatsApp’s selling points is added security and privacy, these points seem to run against that narrative.
You can lose your account for using WhatsApp mods
You’re not just risking your privacy by using one of these app mods, either; you’re risking your entire account. Believe it or not, WhatsApp isn’t much of a fan of these mods, and has banned users in the past for using them.
The short answer? WhatsApp mods are simply not safe to use. While the customisation that these mods offer is appealing, it’s not worth risking your privacy (and account) for. If you want new WhatsApp features before the rest of the crowd, you’re much better off downloading the latest beta from a trusted site like APK Mirror.