WhatsApp on Thursday started rolling out end-to-end encryption for backups stored on Google Drive and iCloud. The rollout comes months after the Facebook-owned company tested the update internally. Last month, WhatsApp announced that it would start rolling out end-to-end encrypted cloud backup for Android and iOS users. The opt-in feature will help users protect their backups from being accessed by third parties including cloud storage providers like Google and Apple. It also claims to keep chat history stored in a backup from WhatsApp.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the rollout of end-to-end encryption for cloud backup through a post on his page. This feature will be gradually rolled out globally for both Android and iOS users to provide an extra layer of security to the backups stored in the cloud.
Since 2016, WhatsApp has provided end-to-end encryption by default for messages being transmitted on its platform. The company claims that advanced encryption protects more than 100 billion messages a day as they travel among more than two billion users globally.
However, WhatsApp users found the same level of encryption needed for chat history and other content backed up in the cloud available on the app. This resulted in the introduction of end-to-end encryption for cloud backup.
“If someone chooses to back up their chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to them, and no one will be able to unlock their backup, not even WhatsApp. Neither WhatsApp nor backup service providers (such as Apple) will be able to access their end-to-end encryption keys or their end-to-end encrypted backups,” the company said.
How to Enable End-to-End Encryption for WhatsApp Backup
WhatsApp is currently rolling out end-to-end encryption for cloud backup on both Android and iOS devices. Make sure you are on the latest version of WhatsApp to get the update.
Unlike existing end-to-end encryption, which is available by default, you need to manually enable end-to-end encryption for cloud backup. you can do this by going to Adjustment > chat > chat backup > End-to-end encrypted backup And then follow the prompts on the screen. You will need to create a password for your backup. Alternatively, you can use a 64-bit encryption key.
Once the on-screen step is complete, tap What happened And wait for WhatsApp to create your end-to-end encrypted backup. You may need to connect your phone to a power source as encryption will require some of the device’s local resources.
It is important to note that if you forget your password or key, you will not be able to restore your end-to-end encrypted backup.
WhatsApp last month promised to enable end-to-end encrypted cloud backup. Earlier this month it was spotted testing end-to-end encrypted cloud backup on Android and iOS.