WhatsApp to likely introduce password encrypted chat backups – Digitalmunition




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Published on March 9th, 2021 📆 | 8031 Views ⚑

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WhatsApp to likely introduce password encrypted chat backups

WhatsApp is under heavy fire for its recent changes proposed to its privacy policy. For those who are unaware of the change, it is a major one. The privacy policy, once implemented, will allow the creators to access messages and share them with Facebook-owned applications for ads personalization. This is a big concern and has raised global outrage among WhatsApp users. If you haven’t accepted the privacy policy change, there will be a top bar inside the application that requests your permission to do so. I would suggest you migrate to other messaging platforms but like Facebook, WhatsApp has become an inseparable part of humans.

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WAbetainfo is always the first one to unravel in-development and soon to be released features. The website released a post last year, informing about a password encrypted cloud backup making it to WhatsApp. It revealed a series of screenshots that cement the possibility of the feature making it to WhatsApp soon. It still in the Beta phase, but going by the pattern of this year WhatsApp updates, you may see it in the first half of 2021.

The screenshots reveal the nature of the password encryption feature. It is a much-needed one because security agencies and law enforcement has been particularly harsh on cloud backups of WhatsApp chats. Even if the individual deletes the local backup or formats the device, the cloud backups could still be accessed with a dedicated warrant to reveal the conversations. Although the cloud service providers were the once that gave access, user’s have perceived this as an outright invasion of their privacy. Presenting q password encrypted solution would render the chat backups unusable as they would be encrypted by a password. Users will gain more control over their chats and can create a robust password to secure them.

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One more thing about the update is that the feature will be available for both the local chat backups and the cloud chat backups. It will encrypt the texts as well as the media contents of a conversation, which was just limited to text only, until now. WhatsApp chats are end-to-end end encrypted for a long time but the chat encryption algorithm was reversible. Adding a key, that is your password, makes it difficult to obtain or crack by any user. 

The screenshots revealed by WAbetainfo reveal the following texts: “To prevent unauthorized access to your iCloud Drive backup, you can set a password that will be used to encrypt future backups. This password will be required when you restore from the backup. WhatsApp will not be able to help recover forgotten passwords.”

As always, WhatsApp is mum about the new feature and hasn’t made a press release or a blog about the feature. A catch that appears in the screenshot is that the encryption key, i.e, your password is not stored with WhatsApp. It makes it possibly unimaginable to change or recover the password set by the user. Be sure to jot it down somewhere secure in case you forget it. Alternatively, you can use a password manager like Bitwarden or LastPass. 

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