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Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Recently, Facebook and Google joined hands to extend free Google Drive backups for users of WhatsApp chats. This comes as great news for people who have lots of content saved in your conversations and are keen on keeping those protected. Earlier, file backups on Google Drive backups were available to WhatsApp users, but Google used to count each file backed up against users’ Drive allowance.

While this sounds like an exciting new feature, please be aware that WhatsApp files you back up on Google are not encrypted like they are on WhatsApp. Simply put, files you save on WhatsApp cannot be accessed by anyone else in their original form, without access to your device, but it is possible for people to view information saved on Google drive.

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For example, a picture you have saved on WhatsApp cannot be viewed by anyone in a picture form as it is encrypted (Turned into a digital code), but the same picture could possibly be viewed by others in their original form if it is saved on Google drive.

This doesn’t mean files backed up on Google Drive will be completely unsafe, because Google servers are known to be safe. But unlike WhatsApp, which cannot view your information, Google could access your data stored on its servers.

While the new backup option is expected to be used widely by users, those who are the ultra-concerned privacy of their data could opt to store data locally or in encrypted drives, instead of using Google Drive.

The free Google Drive back-up feature can be accessed from November 12. Android users can avoid losing data that are currently in their Drive by backing it up manually before November 12. To refresh existing backups, one will need to back up before October 30, 2018.