WhatsApp may bring password-protected chat backups

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While users enjoy end-to-end encryption on their personal chats on WhatsApp, this is not something that is extended to your backups on cloud services like Google Drive and iCloud. So the messaging app is reportedly working on a way to protect users by bringing password-protected encrypted chat backups so the user can further ensure that even the backups will only be visible to those that know the password. This feature will be coming to Android and iOS apps soon, if sources are to be believed.

WABetaInfo, a reliable source for all things WhatsApp before they even release to the public, tweeted out some screenshots of how this encrypted chat backup will look like. One of the screenshots showed a note from WhatsApp, encouraging the user to set a password “to prevent unauthorized access” to the backup on whatever cloud service you’re using. So this means if you try to restore the chats to another device, you will need to enter that password.

You will then be asked to confirm your phone number and then add a password that should be eight characters long. There’s also a warning from WhatsApp that they will not be able to help you recover that password in case you forget it. So you better make sure that password is saved somewhere. Otherwise, you may not be able to access that chat backup anymore since this is encrypted already.

Remember that once you save your chats to a cloud service, the encryption from WhatsApp will not carry over anymore. The security of this backup will be the responsibility of the cloud service already so if you don’t want any other entity to access it, like law enforcement with authorized warrants, the best thing you can do is to protect it with a password. Well, once WhatsApp rolls it out eventually.

The Facebook-owned messaging app has not confirmed yet whether this is indeed an upcoming feature. Given the negative publicity they have had lately over their new privacy policy, this will be a slightly good move for them if ever.

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