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WhatsApp, owned by Meta, has introduced new security measures to give users more control over their messages and improve privacy standards.
The goal of the messaging app is to make conversations as secure as face-to-face conversations, and improvements will roll out gradually, with some happening automatically in the background.
The instant messaging platform has introduced Account Protect, a new security feature that will give users an extra degree of security when transferring their WhatsApp account to a new device. The functionality will ask users of the old device to confirm their intention to move their account to another device, which will help prevent unwanted attempts.
Another new feature that WhatsApp offers is device verification, which tries to protect users from mobile malware that can exploit their phone without authorization and use WhatsApp to send unsolicited messages. WhatsApp has improved controls to authenticate user accounts and protect them in case their smartphone is compromised, without requiring any action from the user.
In addition to the new capabilities listed above, the company is launching an Automatic Security Codes tool to securely verify user connections, based on a method known as “Key Transparency.” Previously, the security code verification feature could only be used by the most security-conscious users of the app to confirm that they were speaking to the correct person. The new functionality is intended to make encrypted communications more available to everyone by validating the security of the connection without asking users to take any action.
Additionally, WhatsApp provides two-step authentication and end-to-end encrypted backups as security features that users can enable themselves. To help more people stay safe, the company encourages users to share these features with their peers. The ultimate goal of the new features is to give users more privacy and control over their conversations, and WhatsApp promises to continue developing additional tools to improve the security of the platform.
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