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How new WhatsApp security feature will work

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Popular messaging app WhatsApp is adding a new layer of security for users wanting to link their accounts to their computers via WhatsApp Web or desktop.

File picture: Pexels

Popular messaging app WhatsApp is adding a new layer of security for users wanting to link their accounts to their computers via WhatsApp Web or desktop.

WhatsApp has recently been under intense scrutiny over its updated privacy policy. The new privacy policy ruffled a few feathers and prompted the Facebook-owned company to assure users that their personal information and data are safe.

Users who have face or fingerprint unlock on their smartphones will be asked to use those biometric authentication features in order to receive a QR code. This can be used to scan to link their devices.

WhatsApp said in a blog post that this additional security layer will be enabled by default for all users globally who have enabled biometric authentication on their phones. It is worth noting that it cannot be removed unless the user chooses to disable biometric authentication.

According to a company spokesperson, this new security feature will “limit the chance that a housemate or officemate can link devices” to their WhatsApp account without the user finding out.

Once your identity is verified, you can set up WhatsApp as you normally would.

WhatsApp reiterated that it cannot access the biometric information stored by the operating systems on users’ devices and added that it uses the same standard biometric authentication APIs (application-programming interface) used by other secure apps such as banking apps that you already use.

The new feature is compatible with any Android device that is compatible with biometric authentication. This includes iPhones operating iOS 14 and above with Touch ID or Face ID (iPhone 5s and up).

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