If I ask you what are the basic necessities of life, you would answer food, clothing shelter with internet and a smartphone of course. No, we are not discussing about internet but a reason why we desperately want internet, yes that’s right, for WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a must have app these days for every smartphone owner.
WhatsApp is the most popular and widely used messaging app. It is impossible to talk about WhatsApp and not include the privacy and security part in it. We use lots of measures to maintain our privacy, like pattern lock, password protection, archive the chats etc. All these measures because WhatsApp never came with any such measures.
There is a good news for all smartphone users, that includes all of us. WhatsApp is all geared up to upgrade its current version. This latest upgrade includes a 2-step verification process. Just to brush up this verification process, in this process firstly you sign in to your account with the password you know, followed by a onetime password or a code will be sent to your phone.
Every time you want to log into your account, you use your password to access your WhatsApp account, this authentication process is a onetime verification process. So, the objective behind this 2-step verification process is not to lock your phone and WhatsApp to maintain privacy but to make sure that the phone number which you have registered as your WhatsApp number is not misused by someone else or to protect your account from being misused.
Earlier this authentication process was adopted by the popular networking site Facebook for Instagram and WhatsApp is following the same footsteps to make sure the WhatsApp user are being assured complete protection. This verification process came into limelight after Gmail used it, not just Gmail but many other popular sites use this same authentication process as safety measure for their users.
Recently, we heard how GSMA introduced Mobile Connect, that ensured two-factor authentication for its users, and as mentioned WhatsApp is using the similar process. So basically it will first send you an OTP and then ask you for your six-digit password, ensuring two layers of protection.
Okay, we have heard enough now; we just want to upgrade our WhatsApp account and make sure we have this 2-step verification process, but hold on, this verification system is yet to be released. The Android and Windows users will soon enjoy this system. However, the Upgrade for Beta version is already released. So, the Beta app users with WhatsApp version 2.16.341 on Android, and for Windows 2.16.280 can enjoy this 2-step verification system. Now the question is how do we upgrade it?
If you want to enjoy this, open the app and then go to the tab tagged as 2-step verification. The but part here is, this system is not automatically applicable for everyone, as the upgrade is still in the Beta version. But not to worry, very soon it will be released for all the users. If you can’t wait for the upgrade, then you can download the Beta version and try it.
After the official version is released, you can easily access it through the “Settings” option. Just open your WhatsApp, then go to the “Settings”, you will find different option under this category like ‘Account’, ‘Chat’, Notifications’ , ‘Contact’ and many more. Select the ‘Account Option’, there you will see an tab with ‘Two Step Verification’. This feature is completely a choice, if you wish to have a 2-step verification for your number then go for it, if you are happy with the 1-step verification at present then it’s fine too.
After these steps you have activated this 2-step verification process on your mobile number. Then you come to the final page that ensures that the 2-step authentication has been activated and you also get an option to disable it, change the password or the email address. It might be difficult to memorize the six-digit password, but slowly you will remember this too unlike all other account passwords. This addition of one extra step will come to your rescue when you switch your device or your SIM cards.
An important part to note here is when you activate this feature, it is enabled just for limited time. When you activate it, you will have to enter a six-digit alpha or numeric password in addition to your email id. The email id you provide will be used in case of emergency. Suppose you forgot your password or you, want to disable this 2-step verification system, WhatsApp will ask for this registered email id.
In short, every time you register a number for your WhatsApp that happened when you change your phone or you swap SIMs frequently, the app will ask for the six-digit password you entered earlier, if the password matches with the one you entered will signing for the 2-step verification process you will be allowed to access your count else you cannot sign into it.
This verification system will secure your account from being accessed by any third party or secure from being hacked. There is no need to brief what are the consequences when your account gets hacked. With this extra layer of protection you can rest assured that no one except you can access or misuse your account, as no one except you can access your registered email id or you six digit password.
An important question here is what if you forget the password you have set and to make things worse you can’t even access your email id or forget your registered email id. In this situation your WhatsApp account will be locked for 7 days starting from the day you last used WhatsApp. This is just a precautionary measure. For someone who is addicted to WhatsApp, if you don’t get to use it for 7 long days it won’t be easy.
Of course you can access your WhatsApp account after 7 days but the messages you get during these days are lost and it cannot be recovered. Another interesting fact is if you wait for a very long time and don’t verify your account within 30 days, then your account will be completely deleted and you will have to create a new account again. So, your old messages will be deleted along with the pending ones and you cannot backup this data from anywhere.
This new verification system is not just the only thing that is being upgraded. Along with this feature, WhatsApp is also planning to change their voice messages; in fact, now you can hear your voice messages even if you leave WhatsApp and open some other app. This voice note will be playing in the background. So, for those who hate reading and typing long texts, you can simply send and receive voice notes, so you stay connected with everyone, you don’t type, you don’t read, you listen when you wish to and you send a voice note in response.
But according to Beta users there are several issues in this new features, and as this feature is still in the Beta stage we can expect it to be out once all the issues have been resolved and few other changes are made for better usage. An important point to note here is all these features are only for Android and Windows users, no plans have been made to extend it for iOS users.