How to use WhatsApp Chat Lock and encryption features

How to use WhatsApp Chat Lock and encryption features

WhatsApp just unleashed a new feature, Chat Lock that lets users secure their chats and keep prying eyes out. In this article, we explain how it works as well as how WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to secure your chats.

What is Chat Lock in WhatsApp?

WhatsApp recently added a new feature that aims to protect its users' privacy – Chat Lock. The feature allows you to hide your WhatsApp conversations behind biometric or password authentication. To unlock certain chats, you would need to use a password, a face scan, or a fingerprint. This option might come in handy if you don't want anyone to see your chats, especially when you are showing something on your phone to a friend and the message pops up.

To enable Chat Lock, you simply need to select the group or one-on-one chat and tap the lock icon. When your chat will be locked, you'll find it in the Locked Chats group, but to access it you will need to use your password, fingerprint, or Face ID.

© WhatsApp

How does WhatsApp encryption work?

WhatsApp uses Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems. According to the official WhatsApp FAQ page"When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, status updates, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands." It means that only you and the person you are chatting with can see the messages, photos, videos, and documents you are sending. This works thanks to a system that is similar to a lock with a pair of keys: when you send something over via WhatsApp, it is locked and only you and your interlocutor have the keys. The keys are stored within the phones you are using so no third parties can intercept your messages.

How to enable WhatsApp end-to-end encryption

Normally, all your chats are end-to-end encrypted in WhatsApp. However, if you have doubts and want to check if your chats are well-secured, you can do so. Follow the procedure below:

  • Go to the chat and tap the name of the person to open the Contact Info screen.
  • Tap Encryption to view the QR code and a 60-digit number.
  • Compare the code you got with the code the person you are chatting with has. If they match, it's a good sign. If you and the other person are not close to each other, share your 60-digit code by tapping on Verify Security Code > Share and send it via SMS or email.
  • Otherwise, you can also scan the QR code, and if you see a green checkmark, it means that your connection is secure.
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