Revamped Security Features Enhance WhatsApp's Chat Privacy

  • Dec 02, 2023
  • Sofia Martinez
Revamped Security Features Enhance WhatsApp's Chat Privacy

In a bid to strengthen privacy protections for its users' conversations, WhatsApp introduced an enhanced Chat Lock feature in May 2023. Initially, the security measure allowed chats to be locked using the phone's biometric features or screen lock mechanism. To further up the security ante, WhatsApp has recently upgraded the functionality of Chat Lock to make it even more robust.

The process to activate Chat Lock has been simplified; users can now simply long-press on a chat and select the 'Lock chat' option to secure it. An innovative change is the introduction of a secret code system for accessing locked chats, allowing users to bypass the need for their device's fingerprint or PIN/pattern. This code, which can amusingly include emojis, adds an extra layer of security.

Access to these locked conversations is no longer as straightforward as swiping down in the chat list window. The new secret code must be entered into the WhatsApp search bar to unveil the hidden chats, providing a more clandestine approach to chat security.

Word of these improvements first emerged in late October, and WhatsApp wasted no time in releasing them to the public. With countless individuals relying on WhatsApp for confidential and personal exchanges daily, the ability to conceal chats is a significant enhancement to user privacy. All chats concealed with Chat Lock continue to benefit from end-to-end encryption and are still included in Google Drive backups during routine cloud uploads of chat histories.

In addition to these changes, WhatsApp has been actively deploying new features to support user engagement and safety. Just in October, and the service introduced capabilities such as multi-account support, passkey integration, and enhanced text formatting options. More recently, the platform is moving toward implementing email address verification, an alternative method for account access when users are unable to receive messages.

Users are encouraged to update their WhatsApp application on Android to experience the latest Chat Lock updates. If the new features are not immediately apparent, they may require additional time to become available as the rollout progresses.

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