Whatsapp Messages have been encrypted since 2016 but has not offered end-to-end encryption of backups, which will rely on iCloud or Google Drive until today.
The latest update will enable users to opt-in to end-to-end encryption for their backups before those backups hit their cloud storage service. The update will be available next week according to the company.
Once end-to-end encryption is enabled, “neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider will be able to access” the backup, WhatsApp writes in a blog post. Backups are encrypted with a “unique, randomly generated encryption key.” Users will then be able to choose between two options: manually storing the 64-digit key, or setting a password, which can be used to access the key.
While the feature certainly makes backups more secure, there are a few factors to keep in mind. The first is that opting in means there will be no way to recover your backup should you lose the 64-digit encryption key (you are able to reset the password if you forget it). Next is that even though WhatsApp recently announced support for multiple devices, you’ll only be able to use encrypted backups on your primary device.
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