After introducing end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp messages last year, the Facebook-owned messenger has started rolling out yet another security feature. Two-step verification or as we prefer, two-factor authentication.
The new feature is completely optional but it will allow those that opt-in to further secure their WhatsApp profile with a six-digit passcode.
Once activated users will receive a prompt to key in their chosen passcode whenever an attempt is made to verify a phone number on WhatsApp.
What you need to know before activating
Users are able to plug an email address into WhatsApp when activating TFA. This is optional but it’s an option we highly recommend selecting. The reason for this is that WhatsApp will be able to send you a link to deactivate TFA should you ever forget your passcode.
“We do not 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 passcode,” says the firm.
The firm says that any emails that request you disable TFA without you having requested such should be treated suspiciously and links in these emails should not be clicked.
When you forget your passcode
A word of advice about forgetting your passcode and not having an email address associated with TFA. Don’t.
If you forget your passcode you will be locked out of your account for seven days. After that period you will be able to reverify your number with your WhatsApp profile but you will lose any pending messages you might have.
If your number is reverified with WhatsApp after 30 days since last using the app and you don’t have your passcode your account will be deleted and a new one can be created.
WhatsApp says it will prompt users to enter their passcode from time to time so that they don’t forget it completely.
How to get TFA
Firstly you’ll need to have the most recent version of WhatsApp. The firm is in the process of rolling the feature out which means that the next time the app updates you should be able to activate TFA.
To activate the security setting tap on menu (three vertical dots on the top right) then tap Settings. Scroll to Account and then tap Two-step verification. Enable the setting choose your passcode and key in an email address and just like that your WhatsApp profile is a bit more secure.