WhatsApp Fingerprint Lock security feature on Android

WhatsApp has finally launched a fingerprint lock feature for Android without needing any third-party app. Now you can lock your WhatsApp with biometric security. It’s an extra level of security similar to what you might find in a banking app.

Earlier in this year, WhatsApp launched this features on iOS, now available on Android. It works just like it sounds: When the feature is enabled, you’ll need to use your fingerprint to unlock the app even after unlocking your phone.

The update doesn’t appear to be available in all regions just yet, but once it arrives, WhatsApp says you’ll be able to toggle on the extra security from within the app’s Privacy settings menu. There are options to let the app remain unlocked for one or 30 minutes after you unlock it, and there’s also a toggle to prevent the contents of your messages from appearing in notifications.

How to enable:

For Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Account.
  4. Tap Privacy.
  5. Go to Fingerprint Lock.
  6. Switch on Unlock with fingerprint, and then confirm your fingerprint.

For iOS:

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Account.
  4. Tap Privacy.
  5. Go to Screen Lock.
  6. Turn on Touch ID or Face ID.
  7. You can then tap to select the amount of time before Touch ID or Face ID is prompted.

After this, every time you open WhatsApp, you will have to touch the fingerprint sensor on your phone to authenticate and open it. The feature will work on both capacitive fingerprint sensors and in-display fingerprint sensor.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook sued Israeli cyber-security Company NSO alleging that it used WhatsApp servers to spread malware to 1,400 users across 20 countries, including journalists, diplomats, human rights activists and senior government officials.

There’s a distinct advantage to securing an app using a fingerprint instead of a password or PIN, namely that it cannot be guessed and the phone cannot be accessed without its owner physically touching it. Users should keep in mind that some laws do not protect device owners from being forced by law enforcement to unlock a device that is secured with a fingerprint, however.

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