WhatsApp has deployed several updates on iOS and Android platforms, most of them being limited to beta versions. This means that only a few users who sign up and participate in their beta program for developers for both platforms can access and use the features of these updates on eligible devices.
Among the many updates, there is the ability to secure WhatsApp discussions using fingerprint authentication.
It's been around six months since Facebook's social messaging application, which belongs to Facebook, introduced biometric authentication for iOS models. This feature works by deploying the Touch ID or native Face ID.
Android users will be happy to know that it is now available on the platform. As on iOS, similar rumors circulated about creating the same authentication layer.
How does WhatsApp fingerprint authentication work?
For iPhone users, this feature is available in the stable build channel of WhatsApp. It works like Signal or Outlook lock, except that WhatsApp does not provide additional security to individual conversations in the application.
To use WhatsApp fingerprint authentication on your Android device, you need to sign up for the WhatsApp Android beta program and install version 2.19.221 or later.
Note: To join the beta program, register and click on the blue "Become a tester" button. You will get a confirmation (green) stating that you are now a tester. You can unsubscribe at any time. Once the application is updated, you can enable the setting and secure all your chats with the fingerprint lock feature.
You may not see the feature even after the update of the application, however. In this case, you will need to back up your chat history and then reinstall WhatsApp to get the latest server configurations.
The only other option is to wait until the feature is enabled on your device. However, it should meet the criteria of eligibility.
If you can enable this feature on your Android device, you can open WhatsApp using your phone's fingerprint sensor. In addition, you can always answer calls and respond to notification messages when the application is locked without requiring biometric authentication.
In this guide, we will show you how to secure your discussions on iOS and Android platforms. With this, you can move away from the nosy who would like to enter your privacy or open your discussions at random.
iPhone: screen lock
It is incredibly easy to set up the fingerprint lock via biometric authentication on your iPhone, but you must first make sure that you have an eligible device with iOS version 8.0 or later. If you enable this feature, you will also need to authenticate each time you open WhatsApp, even if your iPhone is unlocked.
Step 1: Launch WhatsApp from your home screen.
2nd step: Tap Settings, and select Account.
Step 3: Touch Privacy to open the menu.
Step 4: Scroll down and tap Lock Screen, and then turn it on. If your device has a face ID, your face unlocks the chat, while Touch ID is enabled for the app. For this tutorial, I described the steps to follow with Touch ID because I have not yet upgraded my iPhone. However, if both options are available, you can choose one to unlock the discussions.
Step 5: In the Screen Lock menu, select the WhatsApp wait time before reconnecting. This can be an interval of 1, 15 or 60 minutes of activity. However, you can opt for "immediate" visualization because it is easy to connect with your face or fingerprint.
Now, whenever you want to unlock the app, touch the fingerprint sensor to unlock it.
Android: Fingerprint Lock
To use WhatsApp fingerprint authentication for Android, make sure you are using version 2.19.221 before attempting to enable the setting. If you signed up for the beta version of the Android program, update or uninstall WhatsApp and then reinstall it for the feature to be enabled on your device.
Step 1: Once you have the right version of WhatsApp, launch the app and open Settings.
2nd step: Tap on the account
Step 3: Touch Privacy
Step 4: Scroll to the fingerprint lock option and press it. This will activate the feature on your device.
Step 5: You can select how long the lock will activate when it is activated by selecting "immediately" or choosing an interval of 1 to 30 minutes. When you set the feature for the first time, WhatsApp displays a prompt. This prompt essentially asks you to confirm whether you want to use your device's fingerprint sensor to unlock or lock the application. After that, tap your finger tap once on the sensor to confirm and activate it.
Your WhatsApp conversations are now secured with the help of the fingerprint lock.
Prevent unauthorized users from bypassing WhatsApp fingerprint authentication
Your conversations may be protected from prying eyes, but the app is not completely locked. This means that users can still see the contents of messages when notifications are displayed, but you can prevent this by doing the following:
Step 1: Go to the settings on your device
2nd step: On Android, open Notifications, scroll, and tap WhatsApp> Show Notifications to disable previews.
For iPhones, go to Settings> Notifications> WhatsApp and enable / disable the Allow notifications to disable / blank option to hide them. In this way, no one can see or respond to your discussions outside of WhatsApp without your biometric authentication.
Note: You can also disable notification previews from WhatsApp. To do this, open Settings> Notifications> Contextual Notification and select your preference. For iPhone, go to Settings> Notifications> Show notifications and tap to turn it off.
The disadvantage is that you will not read the messages at a glance, but it is the tradeoff that is needed if you really want to keep your conversations secret.
Enhanced chat security
Fingerprint authentication does not work for WhatsApp calls. This is because you can not force him to check your face or fingerprint before accepting a voice or video call. Similarly, it does not lock discussions on an individual basis, but remains a major security enhancement for WhatsApp.
This is so that you can secure your WhatsApp conversations with fingerprint authentication.
Then: Wondering how to archive inactive chats on WhatsApp so you do not have to scroll too much? We have written a clever guide to the WhatsApp chat archive feature.