WhatsApp’s new locked chats will keep your conversations safe from prying eyes

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In a world where cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to access sensitive information, it’s important to take precautions to keep yourself safe. One of the best tools available to consumers is to encrypt their communications, which can make it difficult for hackers and other malicious actors to access your private conversations. WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow you to put an extra padlock on your messages.

According to a report by WABetaInfo, the instant messaging app will soon allow you to lock specific chats so that only you can read them. The company says that the feature will extract chats from the inbox and store them behind a designated folder that can only be accessed by using a device password or biometric authentication like a fingerprint. In addition, the company will hide notifications for these chats and will not display their names in the notification list.

You can lock a chat by tapping on the name of a one-on-one or group chat and selecting the lock option. WhatsApp notes that you can unlock the chat by pulling down on your inbox and confirming with a passcode or biometric. The company claims that this will provide an extra layer of security for your most sensitive conversations and is great for users who share their phones with family or coworkers.

However, the company warns that it is possible for someone who knows your password or biometrics to access your locked chats. It also notes that if you try to unlock the chat multiple times in succession and fail, you will be prompted to clear the chat. The company is working to expand the Chat Lock features over time, including adding support for companion devices and allowing users to create custom passwords for the feature.

As the most popular instant messaging app in the world, WhatsApp has long been a target for cybercriminals and other bad actors who seek to gain unauthorized access to user accounts. The service offers many benefits for consumers, including free unlimited calls and video messaging over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection, and end-to-end encryption that makes sure only the intended recipient sees your messages and doesn’t get shared with anyone else. The company is always working to keep its users protected, including beefing up the verification system to hinder scammers and introducing ephemeral audio messages that are playable only once.

The platform is also preparing to add granular admin controls for groups and more, allowing users to decide who can see group names, change profile photos and more. It recently updated its terms of service to clarify that it does not scan or collect any data, but shares user metadata with its parent company Meta (formerly Facebook), such as phone numbers, profile photos and activity statuses, along with the ability to share your location.

WhatsApp is currently available on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. If you’re interested in trying out WhatsApp on a new smartphone, consider the iPhone 14 Pro, which features a pill-shaped ‘Dynamic Island’ notch, 48MP primary camera sensors and an A16 Bionic chip.

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