WhatsApp announced that end-to-end encryption in backups will begin to be available this Thursday (14) for Android and iOS smartphones. With the tool, users can choose or not to protect files and messages when backing up to the cloud in Google Drive or iCloud.
Despite being available as of today, the company explained that the feature will gradually reach users around the world. “No other messaging service on the same scale provides this level of security for your messages from sending and transiting to receiving and storing in the cloud,” the statement said.
The tool makes sure that people create a password or use a 64-digit encryption key to keep information secure. With the function enabled, not even the app and the backup service provider will be able to read the information.
The service had already revealed the news in September, when Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (owner of WhatsApp), made a publication on the subject. The technology had been tested for some time and emerged as a sort of “answer” to critics.
Despite keeping the conversations with end-to-end encryption, experts said that all this security “went down the drain” at the time of backup, since it was done in the traditional way.
How to enable encrypted backup
To enable encryption also on cell phone backup, first access the WhatsApp “Settings” menu. After that, go to the menu “Conversations”, “Conversation backup” and select the option “End-to-end encrypted backup”. After that you will be asked to create a password or encryption key.
In case of iOS device, the user must also disable the backup in iCloud, as the service continues to automatically save the unencrypted conversation history. To do this, just open the “Settings” menu, tap on its name and then on “iCloud”. Then go to “Manage Storage”, “Backups”, select your device and uncheck “WhatsApp”.
As stated earlier, the extra layer of protection is coming in little by little starting today and, because of that, not everyone will have access at this point.