Facebook-owned instant messaging app, WhatsApp, is working on ways to encrypt chat backups that users place on the cloud. According to WABetaInfo, the feature showed up on beta versions of the app, which means it should be making its way to mainstream versions soon enough. “As previously announced, @WhatsApp is working on cloud backups encryption. The chat database and media will be safe from unauthorised access when using a password. The password is private and it’s not sent to WhatsApp. It will be available in a future build for iOS and Android,” WABetaInfo noted in a tweet.
As previously announced, @WhatsApp is working on cloud backups encryption.
The chat database and media will be safe from unauthorized access when using a password. The password is private and it's not sent to WhatsApp.
It will be available in a future build for iOS and Android. pic.twitter.com/Lp06PaECBX
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) March 8, 2021
How to encrypt WhatsApp chat backups
WhatsApp chat backups are created from within the app’s settings. According to screenshots shared by WABetaInfo, the option to encrypt these chats will show up when you create the backups. WhatsApp will give you the option to set a password for these backups, which would be required for all future backups. It will also require your phone number to be entered again.
Follow the following steps to turn on chat backups:
- If you’re on an Android phone, open WhatsApp and tap the three dot button on the top right. Then tap the Settings option.
- On iPhones, you directly tap the Settings option on the bottom right.
- Next press the Chat option.
- This opens a screen that lets you choose chat wallpapers, chat backups etc. Tap the Chat Backup option.
- To create a backup immediately, you can tap the Backup Now option that shows p on the next screen. You can also set an automatic backup frequency on this page, allowing chats to be backed up daily, weekly, monthly or not at all.
Why encrypt WhatsApp chat backups
Encrypting chat backups has been on the mind of many privacy conscious users for a while now. WhatsApp chats of various celebrities have been leaked in recent months, while law enforcement has also been known to access chats through lawful means, by asking the backup holders. While WhatsApp encrypts messages in transit and at rest, the backups are stored in Apple or Google’s cloud platforms, which is outside WhatsApp’s control.