Facebook offering WhatsApp backups to be password-protected and encrypted

WhatsApp Backup encrypted
WhatsApp backups could be encrypted soon? Pic credit: Webster2703 /Pixabay

Facebook is bolstering the security of messages that users exchange on WhatsApp, and take a backup. A new and in-development feature could soon allow WhatsApp users to encrypt their backed-up messages. However, only Apple iPhone users running the iOS operating system could receive the facility of encrypting their backups with password protection.

WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for messages. However, any and all backups of these messages remain unencrypted and as such, exposed to potential exploitation. Facebook is addressing this security loophole.

WhatsApp to offer encrypted iCloud Backups to bolster Privacy and Security of Chats and Data:

WhatsApp has native end-to-end encryption while exchanging messages and pictures. This means no third party can intercept or access the messages.

Incidentally, Facebook and WhatsApp offer a simple backup solution for messages and photos. The videos that users receive are optional for backup. While the message flow on the platform is encrypted, the backups are not.

Simply put, backup for the platform is not secure on both Google Drive or iCloud on iPhone and Android. This potentially opens up a concerning loophole, one, which hackers can exploit.

Unauthorized users can easily access chat backups through user’s Gmail or iCloud accounts by gaining access to login credentials. Now, WhatsApp is reportedly working to bring password-protected encrypted iCloud backup to the platform.

Apple iPhone (and most likely Android smartphone) users could soon have the option of password-protecting their WhatsApp backup. Any user using a password will benefit from encrypted backups.

Encryption will completely protect even the WhatsApp backups from hackers. Moreover, without the password, users will not be able to restore their chat history and media on their devices.

Knowing the risks of users forgetting their passwords, the platform will also allow users to reset their passwords for backed-up chat data. Needless to mention, WhatsApp currently archives chats and media without a password.

Facebook boosting privacy and security of users post controversy about the updated privacy policy:

It is amply clear that Facebook is playing it safe after the criticism it received for a WhatsApp privacy policy it sent out earlier this year. The privacy policy led users to believe that the popular messaging platform will share chat data with Facebook.

Following the massive public outcry, Facebook halted the rollout, albeit temporarily. The social media giant also shared numerous clarification statements regarding the new privacy policy. It also added a few privacy-focused features.

Facebook and WhatsApp started a campaign “educating” users about the new privacy policy. The platform has been offering updates as well as “Status” messages with informative infographics and banners.

Despite the backlash, Facebook hasn’t changed any of the Privacy Policy. In fact, the company will not only go ahead with the rollout but has indicated that users who do not accept the policy would risk making their account dormant and inactive.

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