A new WhatsApp feature will enhance the security of your chat.
With introducing end-to-end encryption to its chats in 2016, WhatsApp made its users privacy more intact. Over the time WhatsApp also rolled out the option to add 2 step security to backups, in which backed up chats could only be accessed on entering a pin. However, WhatsApp backups are un-encrypted for now, making them vulnerable.
But this might change in the months to come. Technicians at WAbetainfo.com discovered a new feature in WhatsApp’s beta testing app which allows users to add a password to backed up chats to ensure data security.
The feature, however, is still in its initial testing stages. Whether it will eventually be introduced to non-beta users is unclear. For now, it is only available in the beta versions of the app for Android phones.
WhatsApp has made no intimation of the new feature and is yet to make any official announcements.
Why is this feature significant?
Big tech companies have become frequent targets of data breaches, which gravely harm user security and company credibility. One of the main reasons why this is the case is the troves of user data such companies seem to be in possession of.
All tech giants have a massive user base which is international. Additionally, much sensitive data is shared through social media chats as it has now become the primary mode of online communication for most.
Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities in the programming of such services. WhatsApp has been in a fair share of data compromising scandals such as the WhatsApp Crash and Data Loss Bug, in which an engineered bug infected the devices of users of a group chat who opened the buggy message. This bug exposed the vulnerability of seemingly encrypted text messages since the bug could only be planted by decrypting the message using a web browser.
WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, has been in even deeper trouble for user security, from the infamous Cambridge Analytica Scandal to frequent questioning over its collection of user information. Thus, this gives both the companies a tough track record to make up for.
Other changes in store for WhatsApp in 2020
While encrypted backup is still a distant possibility, there are other confirmed new features WhatsApp is offering to its users in 2020.
The long-awaited Dark Mode for the app has finally launched and can now be activated in the latest versions of the app on both iPhones and Android devices.
Ads were also supposed to become a part of the messaging app in 2020. These would appear in between one’s contacts’ WhatsApp statuses. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook plans to give up on this idea due to backlash.
Additionally, WhatsApp recently pulled back support for the app on older OS versions of iPhones and Android mobile phones to increase the overall security of the app.
The messaging app was launched over a decade ago, in 2009. It crossed its 1 billion user mark in 2016, after the company was acquired by Facebook for about $20 billion. Currently, the app as 2 billion monthly active users.