WhatsApp is reportedly working on rolling out a security feature to protect your chat backups with password and encryption.
WABetaInfo, a blog that tracks developments of the Facebook-owned messaging app, reported a year ago that the security update is a work-in-progress. However, it recently shared screenshots of how it could be presented in the service’s iOS and Android apps.
“To prevent unauthorized access to your iCloud Drive backup, you can set a password that will be used to encrypt future backups,” one of the screenshots reads. “This password will be required when you restore from the backup.” The app then asks the user to confirm their phone number, and select a password that’s at least eight characters long. Another screenshot warns that “WhatsApp will not be able to help recover forgotten passwords.”
Although you can protect WhatsApp with a password lock and the chats are already encrypted, as the company says, the service warns that this protection doesn’t extend to online backups stored on Google Drive and iCloud right now.
Thus, encrypting the backups with a password only you know would theoretically prevent anyone from accessing your chat history without your authorization.