Whatsapp’s password protected backup feature to encrypt Cloud backups

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Whatsapp's password protected backup
source: wccftech.com

Based on reports, Whatsapp’s password-protected backup feature will soon get launched. This new feature will increase the security of WhatsApp cloud backups with passwords. This will encrypt the chat backups, thus making them only accessible to the user. Recently WABetaInfo shared some screenshots of how this new feature will work in the iOS and Android app services.

We all know that the “WhatsApp chat can encrypted and the app can also be locked with a password. But there is no encryption or protection for its cloud backups, especially when they are being backed up on Google Drive. Soon this will change, With this WhatsApp password-protected backup feature. Last year WABetaInfo reported that WhatsApp is working on this feature.

These latest reports about this password-protected backup feature come as Whatsapp’s new privacy policy update backlash. Initially, this has raised many privacy concerns about WhatsApp sharing information with its parent company Facebook. Although WhatsApp insisted that this new update will not affect the security of users’ personal messages. But still, its competitors like Signal and Telegram have seen a surge in its users.

However, Whatsapp has not announced anything officially yet. This unannounced feature first revealed by WABetaInfo. It has a good track of uncovering new features before their official announcements. Previously it revealed features like adding contacts via QR codes and disappearing messages long before their official launch.

Here the details of Whatsapp’s new password-protected backup feature

Based on WABetaInfo shared screenshots

One of the screenshots informs that “to prevent unauthorized access to your iCloud Drive backup, now you get a password. This password will be helpful to encrypt future backups”. Another screenshot informs that this password will required whenever you want to restore the backup data”. In addition to this, WhatsApp will be asking the user to confirm their phone number and select a password. And the password should be at least eight characters long. Another screenshot reads that Whatsapp will not help in recovering forgotten passwords.

Along with this, Whatsapp warned all users earlier that these chats end-to-end encrypted. However, this protection does not include online backups on Google Drive and iCloud. Because once the chats get backed up to these cloud services, then the security of these chat data depends upon the cloud service providers.

Previously there were some cases where these chat backups have been made available to law enforcement authorities. If Whatsapp’s password-protected backups feature gets official launch, chat backups by passwords theoretically can restrict others from accessing your chats without your permission.

How this new password-protected backup feature may work

WaBetainfo found the feature in the Whatsapp beta version for Android 2.20.66. However, it has not mentioned anything about iCloud, but once the feature is available for Android. Whatsapp may also make it available for iPhone users as well.

Reports also inform that this new Password-Protected backup feature will enable users to encrypt users to backup with a password. Then neither Whatsapp nor Google can access the content. Users will be able to turn on the encrypted backups via WhatsApp settings. We need to go to Whatsapp Settings, then go to Chat then select Chat Backup.

As of there is no much information but WhatsApp may also decide to abandon the development of this feature if it faces any trouble. If WhatsApp successfully launched this password-protected backup feature then it will be a great advantage for the platform. This password-protected backup feature will address users’ privacy concerns.

However, As of now, there is no particular solution for Whatsapp users for better privacy and security except disabling the cloud backups. These could backups are not end-to-end encrypted and also easily accessed or hacked into. Last year, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) obtained some of the Whatsapp backup chats from high-profile celebrities about some banned drugs. These leaked chats raised many concerns about the security and privacy policies of WhatsApp.

Other details

Whatsapp lately announced that users have to accept the new privacy policy. Which will allow Whatsapp to access user’s chats with business accounts by May 15, 2021. For this, Whatsapp also added a new section on its FAQ page. This section informs that the new policy update will not affect the privacy of your messages with family and friends in any way. Previously these dates for users to accept Whatsapp’s updated policy was February 8.

Whatsapp, also known for its un-encrypted chat backups for Google Drive or iCloud. Media and messages which backed up to Google Drive aren’t protected by Whatsapp end-to-end encryption.

After the Whatsapp latest privacy policy update backlash. A large number of people migrated to other platforms like Signal and Telegram. One of the reasons can be these platforms provide different strategies when it comes to chat backups.

The Signal messaging app does not provide any third-party cloud backup options If you want to enable backups on the platform. It requires users to alter the settings. Coming to Telegram, It has only in-house cloud backups, according to the platform. These factors influenced users’ decision in moving from Whatsapp to these apps.

Conclusion

Whatsapp is now reportedly developing a password-protected backup feature, which will make your Cloud backups more secure. This makes it impossible for anybody to access user’s Whatsapp chats back up data in third-party cloud platforms like Google Drive and iCloud. Based on the WhatsApp feature tracker WaBetaInfo the feature could be in the development stage. WaBetaInfo spotted this new password-protected backup feature in the Whatsapp beta version for Android 2.20.66.