WhatsApp is further bolstering security measures for all 1.2 billion users with a wider rollout of their major security feature called Two-step Verification. The messaging giant has been testing this extra layer of security in beta for a couple months. And the feature is finally ready to provide users with an added security advantage in the coming days. The feature is being rolled out across all platforms — iOS, Android, and Windows.
The initial evidence of WhatsApp building a two-step verification process appeared in beta version 2.16.341. This feature is optional and can be activated through the new Two-step verification option under Account settings. Once you tap on the said option, you will be transferred to a new screen which holds the ‘enable’ button on the bottom. Clicking on the said button will ask you input a six-digit passcode, reconfirm it and then add an email address for resetting purposes.
Two-step verification is a prominent security feature and provides you with an extra layer of authentication before giving one access to your account. This passcode comes in handy every time you’re required to verify your phone number during the setup procedure on a new device. You can disable the feature at any point in time, with just a tap on the disable option under the same account setting window.
But, WhatsApp might repeatedly require you to verify the passcode (or in turn the phone number) to confirm you are still the one in control of the device. This periodical reconfirmation also helps you remember this important passcode. Talking about the said security feature, the official blog post reads,
When you have two-step verification enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit passcode that you created using this feature.
This is different from end-to-end encryption, which has been readily adopted by the company to protect your message threads. This security feature has, however, taken the company some time to successfully implement. It has already been widely accepted by other tech giants like Google, Amazon, Apple and even its parent Facebook. Instagram has also added two-factor authentication to its photo-sharing service in a recent update.