Oct 15 (LiveMint) – WhatsApp has finally begun rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android users globally, announced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday.
This 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.
“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.
Here’s 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.
“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,” the company added.
WhatsApp had temporarily enabled the feature on WhatsApp beta for Android 18.104.22.168 update to protect backups while on Google Drive from unauthorised access. It was disabled later in the 22.214.171.124 beta update for Android users. It was enabled once again, first on iOS this time and later on Android.
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.