Strengthening data privacy, WhatsApp has added an important security feature enabling users to stop unauthenticated access of their messages from people who have access to their mobile phones. Read further to know how to activate.

WhatsApp’s new security feature adds fingerprint sensor or face recognition authentication to access the app. The simple addition of an extra layer of authentication allows users to block others from opening WhatsApp app and reading messages even if they have access to the phone. The feature is available globally, but is currently limited to iPhone users only. To add the extra layer of security, you need to have the latest version of the messaging service – so update the app on your iPhone to version 2.19.20 via App Store.

Once updated, open the app and go to settings, tap on “account” menu option, then go to “privacy” – there you can find a new “Screen Lock” option. It is disabled by default but it has to be switched on, after which, you will get a set of options for what times do you want the app to require the lock. You can pick from locking the app on its own as soon as you move to a different app, or select different times after which the app will be locked. For maximum security, it is advised to opt for using “immediately”, but it can get a bit tedious to unlock the app each time you open it.

This extra layer of security will make sure that anyone having access to your phone cannot open the app or read or send messages through it. The feature is available for all iPhone users, but for iPhone X, XS, XS Max and XR showing “Face ID” would be needed, while for other iPhones with fingerprint scanner “Touch ID” will do the drill. The same security feature is being developed for Android users and will roll out anytime soon.

2