WhatsApp has finally added an option that allows users to encrypt their cloud backups. This feature first appeared in March 2020 and is ultimately available to users.
WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption for chats, but the company is making it clear that encryption doesn’t even extend to cloud backups that are stored on Google Drive. However, a new feature is that Android users can set a password before uploading their backups to Google Drive. As WhatsApp points out, encrypting a backup requires users to enter a password when restoring a backup. The company also says it can’t help if someone forgets their password, as it’s not shared with WhatsApp or Google. For added security, you can generate a random encryption key by selecting the “Use 64-digit encryption key instead” option. If you ask WhatsApp when you restore a backup and lose your key, please back up your key as it will not help you recover from your company.
To use this feature, you need to do the following steps:
- Open WhatsApp and tap the three dots in the upper right corner. Then go to Settings > Chat > Chat Backup
- Then select Backup Encryption in the Google Drive Settings section
- Tap “Continue” then “Create password”
- Now enter your password and tap “Next”. To use the encryption key instead of the password, you can tap here the “Use 64-digit encryption key instead” option.
- Please re-enter your password and click OK to enable encryption
Currently, this feature is only available for WhatsApp for AndroidBeta version 22.214.171.124. However, they plan to roll it out to all users in the next few months. Unfortunately, encryption backup support for iOS users doesn’t say anything.