WhatsApp is the most widely-used messaging platform in the Western world, providing support for end-to-end encryption.
This added level of security may be great for protecting third parties from intercepting your messages, but it does nothing to prevent your conversations being accessed by someone with physical access to your smartphone.
Many people do not bother with security locks on their smartphones, and this means that if the physical security of their device is compromised attackers will be able to access their private conversations with no restrictions.
Even if you do have a password lock on your phone, however, you may not want everyone you hand your device to accessing your WhatsApp conversations.
For this reason, WhatsApp lets you lock your chats behind its own security checks.
WhatsApp recently launched a biometric security feature for iPhones which makes the “locking” process easy, thanks to Touch ID or Face ID being used for authentication when accessing WhatsApp.
This feature can be activated by navigating to Settings > Account > Privacy within the application and enabling the Screen Lock feature.
Now when you access WhatsApp on your device, you will be prompted to verify your identity with either Touch ID or Face ID – depending on which option you selected.
Please note that this security lock only prevents others from accessing the WhatsApp application on your device, it does not hide push notifications if they are not set to private.
To hide content in WhatsApp notifications, users must change their relevant notification settings.
Unlike iOS, there is no native biometric or password lock available for WhatsApp on Android – meaning users will have to rely on third-party apps.
However, many Samsung and Huawei devices include security tools which could act as password locks for WhatsApp.
For example, installing WhatsApp to Samsung’s Secure Folder on supported devices would allow you to lock the application behind a password or biometric lock, which is secured by the manufacturer’s Knox security system.
Certain Huawei smartphones also include a native App Lock application which can apply password or biometric verification to individual apps installed on your device.
It should be noted that downloading third-party applications for the purpose of securing your device is not as safe as using native or built-in features, especially considering the number of malicious applications on the Google Play Store.
Once these applications are installed, you can open them to set individual password locks for certain applications, files, and folders.