Messengers on smartphones are more popular than ever and have surpassed SMS. Nevertheless, some of them come under criticism again and again because of a lack of data protection. WhatsApp has now made improvements in this area.
Messages sent via WhatsApp are encrypted end-to-end. This has been the case since 2016 and is one reason why chats cannot be transferred easily from Android to iOS or vice versa. The messenger is now working on a solution for this as well. However, WhatsApp is now extending data protection even further. From now on, WhatsApp backups can also be secured in the cloud via end-to-end encryption and are thus protected against unauthorized access.
Facebook informs about encryption of WhatsApp backups
WhatsApp parent Facebook has informed about the encryption of the backups in a separate post. According to it, users now have the option to encrypt the backup of their chats on Google Drive or in the Apple iCloud end-to-end. No other global messaging service of this scale, Facebook added, offers this level of security for messages, media, voicemails, video calls and chat backups.
Encryption of backups is optional. It can be set up in the settings under “Chats” and “Chat backup”. Users can protect their data here either with a password they set themselves or with a 64-digit encryption key that only they know. Neither WhatsApp nor the cloud provider – in this case Google or Apple – can then read the backups or access the key required to unlock them.
WhatsApp wants to roll out the new feature immediately for users of the current version of the app. As always, the updates come in waves, so a bit of a wait is sometimes necessary before the encryption of WhatsApp backups is available to everyone.
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