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  • Kyle Chua

WhatsApp Now Lets You Encrypt Your Chat Backups

You can now fully secure your WhatsApp messages on all fronts, with the popular messaging platform rolling out end-to-end encryptions for your chat history backups. WhatsApp has long provided end-to-end encryption for chats, but until today, this privacy feature was not available for backups.

Credit: Thomas White via Reuters

The feature starts rolling out for iOS and Android today, as announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. WhatsApp said that it plans to roll out the feature slowly to make sure it can deliver a reliable experience for all users.

"While end-to-end encrypted messages you send and receive are stored on your device, many people also want a way to back up their chats in case they lose their phone," wrote Zuckerberg in a post. "Starting today, we are making available an extra, optional layer of security to protect backups stored on Google Drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption."

Credit: WhatsApp

Going by what the Facebook chief wrote, the feature doesn’t seem to be enabled by default. You’ll have to go to the Chat Backup tab in Settings to turn it on. After doing this, you’ll need to set either a password or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know to secure the backup.

It’s worth mentioning that you won’t be able to recover your backup if you forget the 64-digit encryption key. The password, however, is recoverable.

In case you didn’t know, end-to-end encryption is a communication system wherein only the sender and receiver can see the messages that they send to each other. No third parties can access those messages, not even WhatsApp. The same applies to your backup. Once you set your password or encryption key, neither Google nor Apple will be able to access it.

Also, don’t forget that you’ll have to update to the latest version of WhatsApp to access the new feature.


Written by Kyle Chua


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