WhatsApp Tipped to Include Passcode Protection Feature for Chats
Currently, WhatsApp is one of the most popular and actively used instant messenger apps around the world. It began as a simple IM app with nothing fancy and sole focus on sending and receiving messages just like we do on texting. But since its early days, the app has come a long way by adding features at regular intervals including the newly added end-to-end encryption. And now it seems like we will get one more feature to keep our WhatsApp account secure from prying eyes.
WhatsApp can do little to stop persons from reading our messages should they manage to get into our phone. As per the report by Android Authority, a future update to the app will allow users to enter a six-digit passcode should they wish to shore up the local defense against intrusion.
The information was spotted as part of a text translation program for WhatsApp, to convert strings from English into Dutch. Phrases to be translated include “Enter the current six-digit passcode:“, “Passcodes don’t match. Try again. “, and “Enter a recovery email address“, which are all pretty good indicators about what could be heading our way soon.
The translated phrases specify that users may get a recovery mail option in case they forget their six-digit passcode. Usually, an email address is required to ensure that users don’t lock themselves out of their account, but one of the translation strings implies that users will have a choice about whether or not to provide a recovery email. It seems that users could completely lock themselves out of their WhatsApp account, which would be doubling punishing given that accounts are also tied to the user’s phone number. The report further adds that the use of a recovery mail may be kept only as an option. This sounds somewhat strange considering an email is necessary in case users to lock their accounts. At this instant, it is not clear whether WhatsApp will keep the option to add six-digit passcode feature a required or optional feature.
Recently, WhatsApp allowed the mention feature on its Android as well as iPhone apps. The feature works same as it does on Twitter and Facebook. Users will have to use "@" sign in a group chat and automatically the app will propose names of the group members. Particularly, the feature is currently limited to group chats only.
These strings are obviously an indication that WhatsApp has plans to update the app with passcode protection. Once it happens, it will provide an extra layer of security to users because their chats can still be read by anyone who gets hold of their device. And however there are a number of third-party app lock apps, it is always a good and better option to have a native app lock feature.