In addition to the end-to-end encryption introduced by WhatsApp, the company has added an additional layer of security for its 1.2 billion users on the chatting platform — the two-step verification, which was first introduced in the app’s beta version in November 2016.
Services like LinkedIn, Amazon and Google already have the two-step verification system in place for its users and now the Facebook-owned company has also released it for all its users.
To access this service, users will need to go to the account settings in the app, find the two-step verification option and press on the enable tab.
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The feature would require you to create a six-digit passcode, which will be required each additional time you register your number with WhatsApp — that happens usually when you change your device.
“Two-step verification is an optional feature that adds more security to your account. 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,” the company stated.
The feature also allows you to attach an email address to your WhatsApp number, which then can be used to retrieve your account in case you ever forget the saved passcode for two-step verification of your account.
WhatsApp doesn’t verify the email to confirm its accuracy.
“If you receive an email to disable two-step verification, but did not request this, do not click on the link. Someone could be attempting to verify your phone number on WhatsApp,” the company added.
If a user forgets their passcode and hasn’t provided an email address to retrieve it, then you’ll be locked out of your account for seven days.
Re-verification without providing the passcode isn’t permitted within seven days of last using WhatsApp. Post these seven days, users will be allowed to reverify the account but all the pending message received during the week will be deleted.
If a number is reverified after 30 days of last using WhatsApp, without the passcode, then the entire account information will be deleted and a new one will be created.
While this is a useful security layering that is readily available for users now, it’s also important that you don’t forget your passcode. To help you with that, the app will occasionally ask you for your passcode just to help you remember it and there is no way to opt out of this except by disabling the two-step verification feature.