WhatsApp Rolls Out Conversation Lock Feature, Supports Device Biometrics
Popular instant messaging platform WhatsApp started rolling out a much-needed privacy feature that lets users better protect their privacy by locking specific conversations.
The feature, dubbed Chat Lock, will allow users to move sensitive conversations into a new, private folder and secure them with a password or their device’s biometrics.
Aside from containing chats within a locked folder, Chat Lock can also obfuscate users’ details in notifications, preventing snoops from casually eavesdropping while people use their phones.
“Locking a chat takes that thread out of your inbox and puts it behind its own folder that can only be accessed with your device’s password or biometric, like a fingerprint,” Meta’s announcement reads.
“It also automatically hides the contents of that chat in notifications, too. We believe this feature will be great for people who share their phones from time to time with a family member, or in moments where someone else is holding your phone at the exact moment an extra-special chat arrives.”
Users who have already received the feature can lock a chat by tapping the name of the conversation, whether a one-on-one or group chat, and selecting the lock option. The app should automatically lock the conversation using the device’s password or biometrics.
To reveal obscured conversations, users should slowly pull down on their inbox and input the password or biometrics when prompted. It’s worth noting that the feature won’t protect conversations from somebody who knows the device’s password. However, Meta plans to add more options, “including locks for companion devices and creating a custom password for your chats so that you can use a unique password different from your phone’s.”
WhatsApp already has a protection feature allowing users to lock the entire app. However, going through the process of unlocking WhatsApp each time you want to view or reply to a message could quickly become tedious; locking only specific conversations is far more convenient.
Once the feature supports unique passwords, pairing it with specialized software such as Bitdefender Password Manager could significantly increase privacy. Key features include:
- Robust data transmission encryption protocols
- Runs and syncs on multiple platforms and browsers
- Convenient password import options
- Password strength checker
- Autofills online forms