To dispel all doubts on security of chat messages on its platforms, WhatsApp has rolled out a two-step verification mechanism for all iOS, Android and Windows Phones.
A two-step verification, which has already been adopted by companies like Twitter, Instagram, Apple, LinkedIn, Google, and Microsoft, adds an extra layer of security to the platform.
WhatsApp has been working on two-step verification for the past several months.
"When you have the feature enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit passcode that you choose," WhatsApp said in a statement.
This is an optional feature, which boosts security of your account. Every time you setup WhatApp on a different smartphone, you’ll need this code for accessing the account. When you have the feature enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit passcode that you choose.
In order to enable the optional WhatsApp security feature, users have to open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable, the company said in its release. Post enabling this feature, users will need to enter their chosen WhatsApp passcode, and optionally provide an email address so that they can recover their account even if they forget the passcode.
"This email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit passcode, and also to help safeguard your account," the company said.
According to WhatsApp’s own FAQ page, they don’t verify this email address to confirm its accuracy. "We highly recommend you provide an accurate email address so that you’re not locked out of your account if you forget your pass code,” adds the page.
Further, If you have WhatsApp two-step verification enabled, your phone number will not be permitted to reverify on the app within seven days of last using WhatsApp without your passcode.
This means that if you forget your own passcode, and did not provide an email to disable WhatsApp two-step verification, even you will not be permitted to reverify on the app within seven days of last using it, the company says.
"After these 7 days, your number will be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp without your passcode, but you will lose all pending messages upon reverifying - they will be deleted. If your number is reverified on WhatsApp after 30 days of last using WhatsApp, and without your passcode, your account will be deleted and a new one will be created upon successfully reverifying," it added.
WhatsApp will periodically ask people about their code in order to ensure people don’t forget it.