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Here’s why you were temporarily banned from WhatsApp

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WhatsApp is perhaps the most common instant messaging app out there. There are a lot of features that appease to the insanely large audience that is currently using it. But there are still a lot of features that a lot of people want that WhatsApp hasn't been able to deliver.There are a lot of modified versions of WhatsApp available that provide added functionality. In this article, we're going to talk about a very famous mod of WhatsApp called YoWhatsApp.What is YoWhatsApp?YoWhatsApp is a modded version of WhatsApp which not only has all the regular features that Whatsapp has but also has a bunch of added features that can be useful.It is a free app developed by an independent developer named Yousef Al Basha.Here are some significant upgrades that YoWhatsApp provides over WhatsApp:ThemesMessages hidden for privacy reasonsYoWhatsApp allows the user to apply either pre-downloaded skins or make their own. The customisation options are endless.You can change anything from the design of the ticks to the colour of the chatboxes. You can also set custom backgrounds for different chats. With the available downloadable skins, you can change the look of your WhatsApp entirely with just a few taps.Apart from this, you also get to change the app icon as well. Oh, and it also allows you to put your name where normally 'WhatsApp' is written.Also read: QRLJacking: How scanning a wrong QR Code can compromise your WhatsAppPrivacyWith YoWhatsApp, privacy is no longer going to be a concern to you.You can set custom privacy options per contact. The set last seen, read receipts or even delivery receipts as per each contact. You can also freeze your last seen to a specific date as well.You can also hide chats. Note that it is different than archiving. When a conversation is hidden, to view it, tap on the 'WhatsApp' text on the top left and then after a fingerprint scan you'll be able to see the hidden chats. Messages from hidden chats are also not shown in the notification bar.You can even go a step ahead and hide media from the phone's gallery as well. And there's an additional feature wanted by a lot of users. You can lock the app using your fingerprint, pin or a pattern, a much requested WhatsApp feature that is still missing from the original app.FunctionalityThis is where YoWhatsApp shines the most. The biggest lifesaver is that you can read deleted messages. This feature also applies to any media sent as well. So no more pestering by deleted messages.Apart from this, there are a bunch of useful features as well. There's no loss in image quality when sending photos. You can also remove the standard limit of 10 photos that can be shared at once. With YoWhatsApp you can also send and receive videos up to 700 MB.The mod also allows you to send messages to numbers without saving them. You can forward messages without the 'forwarded' tag. There are toast notifications when a contact whom you were chatting with recently comes online. You can even download statuses directly to your gallery.Frankly speaking, there are a lot of features in this mod that'll make you thank the developer through your nose.Also read: 7 Whatsapp alternatives that respect your privacy and securityShould you be using YoWhatsApp?Well, yes of course! The mod offers a lot of functionality over the default app and will make your life a lot easier. Also, there is no risk of it being a spyware or malware app. I've personally been using YoWhatsApp for quite some time now and never saw any issues.The developer keeps updating the app now and then. It can export or import backups from the default WhatsApp so you won't lose any messages when you reinstall or make the switch.There are some alternates to YoWhatsApp as well. These alternates include GBWhatsApp, which is pretty much the same as YoWhatsApp. There's WhatsApp plus as well which is again, more or less the same thing.But also remember, it's not an official version of the app but an independent developer project. Disclaimer by the Developer: "(YoWhatsApp) is in no way affiliated with, authorized, maintained, sponsored or endorsed by WhatsApp or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries. This is an independent and unofficial APP. Use at your own risk."You can download YoWhatsApp here

Recently, many people started reporting they are temporarily banned from using WhatsApp. These bans were increasing in duration and seemed to have suddenly popped up without any explanation. As it turns out, the bans are stepping stones to getting rid of the many mods out there for WhatsApp.

You see, as great as WhatsApp is, many features are still missing. These modded versions of Whatsapp provide added privacy features and some cool stuff like reading deleted messages, status and so on.

As a result, many of the audience had migrated from the official WhatsApp to these mods. However, there was a catch.

Also read: How secure are your photos on social media? And how to protect them

Why are modded versions of Whatsapp being banned?

All these mods were based on the WhatsApp base 2.19.115, which was discovered to have a security loophole that allowed hackers to access your device.

Now while WhatsApp has fixed this issue on the original version since they have no control over the many modded versions, millions of users remain at risk. Also, the fact that these users communicate with users that use the official version means that WhatsApp’s ‘end-to-end’ encryption is compromised.

Here's why you were temporarily banned from WhatsApp
The ban I received

Hence, to preserve user security and their fate, WhatsApp decided to go ahead and ban all the modded version users, forcing them to switch to the official version. These bans start as a 20-minute ban and can go as high as 24 hours. They even might extend to a permanent ban if the user doesn’t switch.

The bans are also quite annoying. They’ll pop up every time you’re using your phone, so much so that you’ll have to minimise them multiple times before being able to use your phone. Even then, they pop up after a couple of minutes.

Also read: Why I chose YoWhatsApp over other WhatsApp mods?

Will you be able to use modded versions again?

There is an outrage in the ‘modded’ community about these bans. Switching back to the original version means they lose a lot of functionality they are acquainted with. Most people (including myself) aren’t pleased about the decision.

Developers of all the leading mods have already posted updates that they’re working on updating the bases so that the new mods don’t get banned. Some have come up with fixes, while some, like YoWhatsApp (I use this one) are still being updated.

Developers are hurrying to update their mods to WhatsApp base 2.19.150, officially the latest one. Since most of these developers are independent and offer their mods free without ads, one can expect the process to be slow.

YoWhatsApp developer working on a potential fix

How it turns out for these developers, we are yet to see. One thing is clear, though, WhatsApp has upset many people with strict banning. Whether or not WhatsApp can provide functionality anywhere near these mods is also doubtful. Besides, WhatsApp’s glory days might be over with ads soon coming to the app.

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: