Meta has added new security features to Whatsapp, its internationally available freeware, cross-platform, centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service. The new features: Account Protect, Device Verification, Automatic Security Codes are designed to “give you extra layers of privacy, and more control over your messages, Meta announced in media statement it released this week.
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WhatsApp messenger is used by more than two billion people in over 180 countries.
Read Meta’s statement below.
At WhatsApp, we believe that your messages should be as private and secure as an in-person conversation. Protecting your personal messages with default end-to-end encryption is the foundation of that security, and we’ll never stop building new features to give you extra layers of privacy, and more control over your messages.
A lot of this work happens behind the scenes without you having to do a thing. Today, we’re excited to tell you about some of the additional security features we’ll be adding in the coming months.
Account Protect: If you need to switch your WhatsApp account to a new device – we want to double check that it’s really you. From now on, we may ask you on your old device to verify that you want to take this step as an extra security check. This feature can help alert you to an unauthorized attempt to move your account to another device.
Device Verification: Mobile device malware is one of the biggest threats to people’s privacy and security today because it can take advantage of your phone without your permission and use your WhatsApp to send unwanted messages. To help prevent this, we have added checks to help authenticate your account – with no action needed from you – and better protect you if your device is compromised. This lets you continue using WhatsApp uninterrupted. Go deeper on the tech here.*
Automatic Security Codes: Our most security conscious users have always been able to take advantage of our security code verification feature, which helps ensure you are chatting with the intended recipient. You can check this manually by going to the encryption tab under a contact’s info. To make this process easier and more accessible to everyone, we’re rolling out a security feature based on a process called “Key Transparency” that allows you to automatically verify that you have a secure connection. What it means for you is that when you click on the encryption tab, you’ll be able to verify right away that your personal conversation is secured. For those interested in going deeper into the tech, click here.*
These are three additional ways we’re helping secure your account. While there’s many things we can do to make security easy for everyone, there are two features that only you can turn on: two-step verification and use of end-to-end encrypted backups. If you’re already using both, please tell your friends about them so more people can benefit from these layers of security too.
We hope people enjoy the increased security these features offer, and we look forward to announcing more updates soon.