WhatsApp to roll out password-protected chats backup feature soon

FILE PHOTO: The WhatsApp messaging application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017.  REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo (REUTERS)

WhatsApp is reportedly working on rolling out a security feature to protect your chat backups with password and encryption.

WABetaInfo, a blog that tracks developments of the Facebook-owned messaging app, reported a year ago that the security update is a work-in-progress. However, it recently shared screenshots of how it could be presented in the service’s iOS and Android apps.

“To prevent unauthorized access to your iCloud Drive backup, you can set a password that will be used to encrypt future backups,” one of the screenshots reads. “This password will be required when you restore from the backup.” The app then asks the user to confirm their phone number, and select a password that’s at least eight characters long. Another screenshot warns that “WhatsApp will not be able to help recover forgotten passwords.”

Although you can protect WhatsApp with a password lock and the chats are already encrypted, as the company says, the service warns that this protection doesn’t extend to online backups stored on Google Drive and iCloud right now.

Thus, encrypting the backups with a password only you know would theoretically prevent anyone from accessing your chat history without your authorization.

These latest reports about the feature come as WhatsApp’s reputation has taken a hit from a new privacy policy, which has stoked fears that it may store more information with parent company Facebook

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In January, WhatsApp had introduced its privacy policy mandating its users to accept its terms and conditions, failing which the accounts and services would be terminated after February 8, 2021, for the respective user.

After facing criticism over the privacy policy, WhatsApp took to micro-blogging site Twitter to clarify that “no one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8 and we will be moving back our business plans until after May.”

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This article is sourced from livemint

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