WhatsApp has finally added a feature that lets users encrypt cloud backups of their chats. The feature initially popped up back in March 2020 and is finally showing up for users.
Now, WhatsApp has offered end-to-end encryption for chats (via WABetaInfo), but the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform has been clear that the encryption doesn’t apply to cloud backups stored on Google Drive.
Android users will be able to set a password before uploading backups to Google Drive with the new feature.Encrypting the backups will ensure that users will see an option to enter a password when restoring from a backup. That said, you have to be super cautious with the password, as just in case you forget the password, you could be in trouble as it isn’t shared with WhatsApp or Google.
If you wish for extra security, you could choose to opt for the “Use 64-digit Encryption key instead” option to generate a random encryption key. Do confirm to require a backup of the key as WhatsApp will ask once you restore a backup, and therefore, the company can not help you recover the key if you break down.
The feature is only available on version 184.108.40.206 of WhatsApp for Android Beta. However, we expect the company to roll it out to all the users in the coming months. Unfortunately, there is no word on encryption backup support for iOS users.
Here’s what you need to do to activate end-to-end encryption:
Step 1: Launch WhatsApp and tap on the three dots in the top right corner.
Step 2: Navigate to Settings > Chats > Chat backup
Step 3: Select “Encrypt your Backups” under the ‘Google Drive settings’ section
Step 4: Tap on “Continue” and then tap on “Create Password”
Step 5: Enter a password and tap on “Next.”
It’s worth noting that you can choose to tap on the “Use 64-digit Encryption key instead” option if you want to use an encryption key instead of a password.
Step 6: Re-enter the password and tap on “Confirm” to enable encryption.