WhatsApp rolls out major new update to make its chats more secure

Asia's Tech News Daily

© DADO RUVIC Whatsapp is rolling out an update to make it more secure. Reuters

WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature designed to make it more secure. Starting from October 14, the messaging app will introduce end-to-end encrypted backups in chats.

WhatsApp already features end-to-end encryption by default, which protects messages between its two billion-plus users.

However, the new feature works to provide additional security to backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud. Those wanting to backup their chats in case they lose their phone can now secure their chats with either a password or a 64-digit encryption key.

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“Neither WhatsApp nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock it,” a post on WhatsApp’s blog states.

The feature ensures that even content that is uploaded onto the cloud is encrypted, something that wasn’t available before. It therefore ensures an additional level of security to all text, audio, images and video stored on Google Drive or Apple’s iCloud. According to WhatsApp, “no other global messaging service at this scale provides this level of security for their users’ messages, media, voice messages, video calls, and chat backups.”

The new feature is being rolled our gradually, with only users running the latest version of the app able to access the new feature.

Here’s how you can turn on end-to-end encrypted backup

1. Open Settings

2. Tap Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup

3. Tap Turn On, then follow the prompts to create a password or key

4. Tap Create, and wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup. You might need to connect to a power source

The messaging platform says users won’t be able to restore their backup if they lose their WhatsApp chats and forget their password or key. WhatsApp cannot reset a password or a backup.

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