Privacy on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp: which is the most secure

All three together have over 5 billion monthly users. Sure, they may not be unique (i.e., they're not used by 5 billion different people), but they're still astronomical numbers. To say that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp play a major role in our daily lives and in our lives in general is almost superfluous.

We use them to exchange messages, send photos and videos, "spy" on what our friends are doing, arrange appointments, make calls and video calls, share secrets. Every single daily action is mediated by one of the three social/messaging platforms owned by Mark Zuckerberg, thus able to accumulate an indefinite amount of personal data of users.

And it happens, with an increasingly worrying frequency, that some hacker or some organization manages to get hold of this information. The "vase" was uncovered by the Cambridge Analytica affair, but since then the cases of data leakage (or theft) of Facebook and Instagram have involved tens of millions of users. Protecting your data from possible theft or leakage is easier if you choose a secure platform: relying on higher security standards, even by making small configuration errors you can avoid "handing over" your data to cyber criminals.

But which of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is the safest? Let's try to find out together by analyzing the various aspects of the social platforms.

The registration procedure

For Facebook and Instagram, the registration procedure for the platform is rather "straightforward". In both cases you will have to create a profile by choosing a username (it can be either an email address or a phone number) and a password. If your Instagram signup is subsequent to your Facebook signup, you may decide to take advantage of the social login and use your Facebook credentials to log in to Instagram.

WhatsApp, on the other hand, adopts a different procedure. To create a profile on the platform, in fact, you can only and exclusively use your phone number, while no password will be required. To verify that you are actually using the declared mobile number, WhatsApp will send a verification code via SMS to be entered within the platform. If the code is not entered, you will not be able to create the account. This procedure, moreover, will have to be repeated every time you change smartphone, so as to synchronize the data present on WhatsApp servers with your phone.

Two-factor authentication

Introduced initially on Facebook, today two-factor authentication is present on all three platforms. As seen with signup, however, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp use different procedures to protect the account with a second code. Facebook, for example, has its own internal unique code generation tool: you'll just have to sift through the various options in the smartphone app to find and use it. Instagram provides the user with a double option: receiving the "secondary" code via SMS or generating it with an ad hoc application. WhatsApp, finally, makes the user choose the PIN directly: when you decide to activate two-factor authentication you will also have to choose a six-digit code to use every time you change your phone.

Use on multiple devices

Facebook and Instagram give you the possibility to access your profile simultaneously from multiple devices; WhatsApp does not. While the two socials can be controlled, at the same time, from multiple computers or smartphones, WhatsApp can only be used on one device at a time. Of course, thanks to WhatsApp Web, you can also message from your PC, but the moment you log in on another smartphone, the synchronization between the messaging platform's servers and your old device is interrupted.


Although Facebook and Instagram were born for other purposes, today the two platforms allow their members to send messages to each other via Messenger and Direct. In short, there is a lot of competition in the family for WhatsApp. The "native" platform, however, at the moment offers a security service that the other two do not: end-to-end encryption of messages sent. Of course, the road map drawn up by Mark Zuckerberg foresees that soon the conversations of Messenger and Direct will be protected by cryptographic algorithms, but at the moment they are still "freely accessible" to any hacker who would be able to break into the servers of the two social networks and intrude, so, in the communications of users.


As mentioned, in recent months Facebook and Instagram have ended up several times at the center of the objective for problems related to the protection of data and privacy of their members. Precisely for this reason, over the years and in recent months, the two platforms have increasingly refined the tools available to users to protect their privacy from prying eyes. Facebook and Instagram allow you to customize the way other users of the platform can access their profile, the content they can see and the content that, instead, must remain invisible to the eyes of strangers.

In the same way, WhatsApp also allows you to customize some privacy-related preferences. On the messaging platform, for example, you will be able to hide your profile picture; prevent some users from seeing your status; disable the last access time and the double blue tick.

Download personal data

To ensure greater control over the personal information on their servers, Facebook and Instagram allow users to download all the content and information they have. You get, thus, a compressed file containing everything (but really everything) that the two social platforms have stored about us over time. Not only what we've published, but also the comments we've left, the likes we've inserted and the messages we've exchanged with other members.

Closing your profile

Deaf of spending too much time on the three platforms? No problem: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp allow you to close your profile and say goodbye to your social life (not social, of course). Before doing so, however, think about it carefully: closing the account involves the deletion of all data, which can not be recovered (unless you have previously downloaded them, as mentioned above). WhatsApp even deletes backups made on iCloud or Google Drive, thus erasing all traces of your passage.