WhatsApp chats already have end-to-end encryption, but what about your online backups? They too will be covered soon. As The Verge notes, WABetaInfo found that the latest WhatsApp beta for Android (184.108.40.206) includes a test for end-to-end encrypted cloud backups. Sign up and you don’t have to worry about hackers or spies being able to easily read your conversation history.
There are a few caveats. You have to create a separate password to restore your backups and you can’t get them back if you both lose your phones and forget that password. Alternatively, you can create a 64-digit encryption key, but you will also run into trouble if you lose that key.
It’s not certain that WhatsApp will provide secure cloud backups with the next stable release, so you may not want to count on it in the near future. It’s also unclear whether everyone who uses the new beta will get the same backup functionality.
The timing is at least appropriate. WhatsApp has just started testing multiple device syncing that doesn’t depend on a phone connection. These encrypted backups don’t seem to be available across devices, but they could prove reassuring as people increasingly depend on WhatsApp for chatting on all of their devices.
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