Facebook-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp is rolling out end-to-end encryption for both Apple iPhone and Android phone users. “While the end-to-end encrypted messages that you send and receive are stored on their device, many people also want a way to back up their chats in case they lose their phone. Starting today, we put an additional and optional layer of security is available to protect backups stored in Google drive or iCloud with end-to-end encryption, “the company said in a blog post on its website.
End-to-end encryption will also apply to user chat and media backups.
WhatsApp users can set passwords for their backup
Users can protect their end-to-end encrypted backup with a password of their choice or a 64-digit encryption key known only to them. Neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider will be able to read the backups or access the key required to unlock them, according to the company.
“With more than 2 billion users, we are excited to give people more options to protect their privacy. We will slowly roll out this feature for those with the latest version of WhatsApp,” the company said of the implementation period.
How Users Can Access Their Password Protected Backups
When someone wants to recover their backup:
* They enter their password, which is encrypted and then verified by the Backup key vault.
* Once the password is verified, Backup Key Vault will send the encryption key to the WhatsApp client.
* With the key in hand, the WhatsApp client can decrypt the backups. Alternatively, if an account owner has chosen to use only the 64-digit key, they will have to manually enter the key to decrypt and access their backups.