WhatsApp is perhaps the most secure messaging app and is most widely used among people. It is known for its variety of features, but let’s face it, every messaging app is now offering similar features. You would see a call and video button on every messaging app. Apart from that, WhatsApp carries some interesting ones like WhatsApp story and sharing your location in real time using google maps.
That being said, WhatsApp was originally adopted for the user friendliness and fast responsiveness of the application. Not to mention the blue ticks that let the sender know that the message has been read. Apart from all of these features, WhatsApp also became popular for its privacy and security.
End to End Encryption Whatsapp Feature
At the start of a new conversation Whatsapp indicates that the conversation is end to end encrypted. Well, there you have it, WhatsApp’s policy of security and privacy. End to end encryption means that messages sent in a chat are only read by the sender and receiver and no one else in between. You must be thinking that this must be the case everywhere, but it most certainly is not. Whenever you are texting or using any other application that does not provide end to end encryption, it means that your messages can be intercepted and read by 3rd parties like owners of the application for some security purpose or maybe even a law enforcing agency if the situation calls for it. With end to end encryption, WhatsApp guarantees the users that even they (WhatsApp) cannot access the user’s messages.
The ‘key’ for encryption/decryption is shared among the sender and receiver only. This is how they maintain end to end encryption. And, you don’t need to hustle to go to settings and turn on end to end encryption, rather WhatsApp has it on by default for all users!
The Whatsapp Two-step Verification Method
So, a messaging application like WhatsApp which gives paramount importance to privacy and security was not able to keep itself safe from hackers for very long. In 2016, people started hacking in to WhatsApp which made them introduce the two-step verification method, a clever technique used by WhatsApp to protect your account against hacking or hijacking.
Why is the two-step verification needed?
Hackers often hack WhatsApp in such a way that when they access it, they somehow obtain the verification pin required to access your WhatsApp account when accessed from another device. This verification code is the one that the WhatsApp team sends as a verification to your phone number through a message. So, normally the only barrier between your WhatsApp account and the hacker is that verification code. And, as mentioned earlier, the hackers have found a way around it.
What is the Whatsapp two-step verification?
So, what did WhatsApp do? They introduced the two-step verification method. It allows the user to enter another additional 6-digit secret pin required to access the account. WhatsApp will prompt you to enter this pin whenever you change your mobile phone and sometimes even periodically when you open the application just to make sure you don’t forget it. Don’t worry about losing your pin though, WhatsApp also asks for your active email id so that you can reset this pin in case you forget or lose it.
Advice from PTA
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) officially advised the WhatsApp users to protect their WhatsApp accounts using the two-step verification method.
How to enable Whatsapp two-step Verification?
Follow these steps
Go to settings > Account
Click enable after reading the terms of two-step
Enter your 6-digit pin in the next window
Press next and enter the 6-digit pin once again
Enter your active email-id that you would use to
recover your pin in case you forget/lose it.