The free messaging app WhatsApp launched two-step verification on its platform Friday, February 10th. The massively popular app boasts over 1.2 billion users worldwide and first rolled out a beta version of the safeguard last year.
Two-step verification, also known as two-factor authentication (2FA), is a security feature that implements an extra layer of protection over your account by requiring a security code in addition to your password. It’s a popular measure that has already been adopted by major tech players including Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter. On WhatsApp, 2FA will make it harder for phone thieves and hackers to access your private messages.
How to Enable Two-Step Verification in WhatsApp
To enjoy the additional security, users need to download the latest version of WhatsApp and then toggle on two-step verification.
- Open WhatsApp.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Account.
- Tap Two-step verification.
- Enable it.
Once it’s enabled, WhatsApp will have you set up a six-digit password that you will have to enter every time you re-register your phone with the app.
You will also have to input your email address as a backup in case you forget your passcode, and it’s not recommended that you skip that step. If you forget your six digit key, you’ll be forced to wait 7 days before WhatsApp re-verifies your account and lose any pending messages in the interim, according to a company blog post.
The app will also push pop-ups to you “periodically” prompting you to enter your passcode so you don’t forget it.