WhatsApp has finally rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android users globally, announced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday.
You can now secure your end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know.
his feature will enable an optional extra layer of protection to their iCloud and Google Drive accounts if users want it. “In rolling this out, we have completed the final step in providing a full end-to-end encrypted messaging experience,” the Facebook-owned popular messaging application stated.
As you can see in this image, now, when you encrypt your chat back-ups, you’ll also have the option to use a password or encryption key, further locking your data, and keeping your information private.
“You can now secure your end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know. Neither WhatsApp nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock it,” it further said.
How to Create End-To-End Encrypted Backup:
-Tap Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.
-Tap Continue, then follow the prompts to create a password or key.
-Tap Done, and wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup. You might need to connect to a power source.
Note: You won’t be able to restore your backup if you lose your WhatsApp chats and forget your password or key. WhatsApp can’t reset your password or restore your backup for you.
How to Turn Off End-To-End Encrypted Backup:
– Open Settings.
– Tap Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.
-Tap Turn Off.
-Enter your password.
-Confirm you want to turn off encrypted backup by tapping Turn Off.
This new feature will enable end-to-end encrypted backups, be it from sending and transit, to receiving and storing in the cloud.
Users will have to be careful with the password or the encryption key as WhatsApp will not be able to restore their chat history if these are lost. The password or the 64-bit encryption key will have to entered every time a user needs to restore their chat history.
As explained by WhatsApp:
“This feature will provide people with more privacy and security for their digital conversations and that’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly. Given this, we are rolling this out slowly to ensure a consistent and reliable user experience for people on iOS and Android around the world,”
Neither WhatsApp, nor your backup service provider will be able to read your backups or access the key required to unlock them. Which is a key point for WhatsApp to note, especially given the recent user backlash over its move to update its data-sharing processes, which now sees more data about your interactions with businesses within WhatsApp shared with Facebook.
But that does not, to be clear, apply to your personal message interactions, a key feature of WhatsApp. Your person-to-person interactions in the app still encrypted and fully protected, with this new process adding more capacity to secure your personal data to ensure that no-one, not even law enforcement or other authorities, can see what you’re sharing in the app.