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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Locking chats on Whatsapp: A personal vault for private conversations

WhatsApp introduces Chat Lock, a new privacy feature allowing users to secure their personal conversations with passwords or biometrics.

In a constant pursuit to prioritise user privacy, WhatsApp, a popular instant messaging platform owned by Meta, has rolled out a new feature called “Chat Lock.” This groundbreaking addition empowers users to safeguard their most personal conversations by creating a secure folder that can only be accessed with a password or biometric authentication. With this innovation, WhatsApp is taking a significant stride in ensuring the confidentiality and discretion of its users’ communication. 

Chat Lock

WhatsApp’s Chat Lock feature allows users to take control of their conversations by locking individual one-to-one or group chats. By simply tapping on the name of the desired chat and selecting the lock option, users can safeguard their conversations from prying eyes. Once a chat is locked, it is discreetly moved to a separate folder, detached from the regular inbox. This separation ensures that the locked chat remains hidden and can only be accessed with the device’s password or a biometric authentication method like a fingerprint.

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Preserving Privacy

WhatsApp takes privacy a step further by automatically hiding locked chat details in notifications. This thoughtful design prevents sensitive information from being exposed on the lock screen, protecting the user’s privacy even if someone else is temporarily using their phone. By concealing the content of locked chats from notifications, WhatsApp ensures that only the intended recipient can access and view the conversation.

Ease of Access

To view locked chats, users can gently pull down on their inbox, and they will be prompted to authenticate themselves using their password or the biometric identification method they selected while locking the conversation. This seamless process allows authorised users to easily access their locked chats while maintaining a high level of security. By employing this convenient approach, WhatsApp strikes a balance between privacy and user experience.

Expanding Capabilities

WhatsApp’s commitment to privacy doesn’t end with the introduction of Chat Lock. The company has announced plans to further expand the capabilities of this feature, aiming to provide users with additional options to safeguard their conversations. One such development includes locks designed explicitly for companion devices, offering users an extra layer of protection when using multiple devices. Additionally, WhatsApp intends to introduce the option to establish a personalised password for chats, distinct from the user’s phone credentials. This personalised password feature will enhance security by allowing users to have unique passwords for their chats, further fortifying their privacy.

History of WhatsApp’s Security Features

Chat Lock is the latest addition to WhatsApp’s suite of privacy-centric features. The platform has been a pioneer in providing end-to-end encryption for its users’ messages, ensuring that only the sender and recipient can access the content. In a move to protect users’ chat backups, WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android in October 2021, effectively blocking unauthorised access to backed-up chat content. Additionally, the platform expanded its privacy control features by implementing default disappearing messages in December 2021, further empowering users to maintain control over their data.

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With the introduction of Chat Lock, WhatsApp continues to demonstrate its unwavering commitment to user privacy and security. By allowing users to lock their chats with passwords or biometric authentication, WhatsApp empowers individuals to maintain the utmost confidentiality in their personal conversations. The automatic hiding of locked chat details in notifications and planned expansions further enhance privacy and elevate the user experience. WhatsApp’s dedication to providing robust privacy features ensures that its platform remains a reliable and secure communication tool for its two billion users worldwide.