WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups rolls out on both Android and iOS

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Starting On October 14, WhatsApp began adding end-to-end encryption to your cloud backups on both Android and iOS. While WhatsApp itself has been end-to-end encrypted by default for the past five years, until now if you chose to backup your chats to Google Drive (from the Android version of WhatsApp) or iCloud (if you’re on iOS), those backups wouldn’t be encrypted.

WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups rolls out on both Android and iOS

Now, however, you can turn on end-to-end encryption for your backups. The way WhatsApp owner Facebook describes this in its announcement, it seems like it won’t be on by default but you’ll have to actively choose to enable it by going to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.

When you do that, you’ll need to use either a password of your choice or a 64-digit encryption key that only you know. Once you set all that up, neither WhatsApp nor Google or Apple will be able to read your backups without your key or password.

Facebook rightly points out that WhatsApp is the only global messaging service to provide such a level of security at such a scale. The new feature allowing for end-to-end encryption of backups will be rolling out slowly to those with the latest version of WhatsApp for Android or iOS.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the rollout of end-to-end encryption for cloud backups through a post on his page. The feature will be rolled out globally for both Android and iOS users in a gradual manner to provide an additional layer of protection to backups stored in the cloud.

Since 2016, WhatsApp has provided end-to-end encryption by default for messages circulating on its platform. The company claims that the advanced encryption protects over 100 billion messages a day as they travel between more than two billion users globally.

How to enable end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp backups

WhatsApp is currently rolling out end-to-end encryption for cloud backups on both Android and iOS devices. Make sure that you are on the latest version of WhatsApp to get the update.

Unlike the existing end-to-end encryption that is available by default, you need to manually enable end-to-end encryption for cloud backups. You can do so by going to Settings > Chats > Chat Backups > End-to-End Encrypted Backups and then follow the prompts on the screen. You will be required to create a password for your backup. Alternatively, you can use a 64-bit encryption key.

Once the on-screen steps are completed, tap Done and wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup. You might need to connect your phone to a power source as the encryption will require some local resources of the device.

It is important to note that you won’t be able to restore your end-to-end encrypted backup if you forget your password or key.

Source – Facebook