WhatsApp Rolls Out End-to-End Encrypted Cloud Backups for Android and iOS Users Globally
The latest WhatsApp update will come to users gradually to bring an extra layer of protection to their backups.
WhatsApp began implementing end-to-end encryption for backups stored on Google Drive and iCloud on Thursday. The rollout began months after the Facebook-owned company tested the update internally. Last month, WhatsApp announced that it would start rolling out end-to-end encrypted cloud backups for Android and iOS users. The subscription feature will help users protect their backups from being accessed by third parties, including cloud storage providers like Google and Apple. It is also claimed to protect chat history stored in WhatsApp backups.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of end-to-end encryption for cloud backups via a post on his page. The feature will be rolled out globally for Android and iOS users gradually to provide an additional layer of protection for backups stored in the cloud.
Since 2016, WhatsApp has provided end-to-end encryption by default for messages circulating on its platform. The company claims that advanced encryption protects more than 100 billion messages a day as they travel among more than two billion users worldwide.
WhatsApp users, however, also found a need for the same level of encryption for chat history and other cloud-backed content that is available on the app. That resulted in the launch of end-to-end encryption for cloud backups.
"If someone chooses to backup their chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to them, and no one will be able to unlock their backup, not even WhatsApp. Neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider (like Apple) will be able to access their end-to-end encryption key or their end-to-end encrypted backup," the company said.
How to enable end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp backups
WhatsApp is currently implementing end-to-end encryption for cloud backups on Android and iOS devices. Make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp to get the update.
Unlike the existing end-to-end encryption that is available by default, you must manually enable end-to-end encryption for cloud backups. You can do this by going to Settings> Chats> Chat Backups> End-to-End Encrypted Backups and then follow the prompts on the screen. You will be asked to create a password for your backup. Alternatively, you can use a 64-bit encryption key.
Once the on-screen steps are completed, tap Done and wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup. You may need to connect your phone to a power source, as encryption will require some local device resources.
It is important to note that you will not be able to restore your end-to-end encrypted backup if you forget your password or key.Soon WhatsApp will show voice messages on your home screen.