WhatsApp is on a roll these days with new features and policies. Although its last big announcement did not go down well with most users, it is back with another new feature. A major security bump awaits users as the app brings biometric authentication to WhatsApp Desktop and Web.
Biometric Authentication To Safeguard Users
WhatsApp is integrating biometric authentication (via face recognition or fingerprint scanner) to its WhatsApp Web and Desktop. The company states that biometric authentication shall be required when users want to link devices to their account by scanning the QR code.
In a press release, WhatsApp stated:
In order to link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your WhatsApp account you will now be asked to use your face or fingerprint unlock on your phone, before scanning a QR code from the phone to link your device.WhatsApp
WhatsApp is not offering any option to use only biometric authentication instead of scanning the QR code in a nutshell. A user would first scan the code and then authenticate it with biometric authentication via fingerprint scan or face unlock. This way, the process of setting up WhatsApp Web remains the same with just a minor step added to it, i.e., security authentication.
As WhatsApp says, this step would block anyone else from scanning the code and setting up your account on WhatsApp Web. Even if they manage to scan the code, the identity authentication step will prove their action futile. In our opinion, it is a good move as it truly beefs up the security.
Needless to say, this feature would not work if your phone lacks biometric authentication support or you have not set up any authentication on your compatible phone in the first place. To use it, you must be using the fingerprint lock or face unlock on your phone.
If you’re worried about WhatsApp getting access to your biometric information, WhatsApp said that biometric authentication would be performed on the user’s smartphone. The company won’t have any access to that information.
Now, you must be thinking about enabling this functionality for your WhatsApp, right? Well, WhatsApp will be rolling out the feature in the coming weeks. And when it does, we will update you accordingly and also post a tutorial around it to help you enable it!