WhatsApp is starting to implement two-factor authentication on its latest betas, including the Windows Phone beta, reports Android Police. On activation, the 2FA allows users to set a 6 digit passcode for use every time their account is activated on a new phone.
The passcode offers a line of defence against phone cloning, where malicious users can convince a carrier to assign the phone number to a different mobile device. Since WhatsApp sends a confirmation SMS for activating on the new device, this can easily be accessed via received SMS on the cloned device. The passcode will ensure such hacks do not allow malicious elements to access someone else’s WhatsApp.
Other features introduced include the ability to play audio messages in the background. Prior to this, users had to keep WhatsApp in the foreground and be within the conversation to hear voice messages in it. With this feature, users will be able to leave the app and carry on other activities while the message plays in the background. However, the audio will still stop if the phone’s screen turns off.
WhatsApp has taken strong measures this year to improve user privacy. The company, which rolled out end-to-end encryption on its Android app back in 2014, had started encrypting all communication on the platform by default, including calls, video calls, group messages, group calls etc., in April this year. At the same time, WhatsApp also launched a feature letting users make sure the messages are end to end encrypted via QR code scanning or by comparing encryption keys.