Monday, November 11, 2019

WhatsApp For Android Gets Fingerprint Lock Feature Amidst Revelations Of NSO-led Hack

Amidst the revelation of WhatsApp being exploited to spy on over 1,400 individuals by the Israeli-based surveillance firm NSO Group, WhatsApp has released a new security feature for Android users. Fingerprint lock for Android has been long due and is now finally available for users worldwide using the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform.

Fingerprint authentication for Android users was first made available to beta users in August this year. After a couple of months of being in beta, it’s now available for users who aren’t on the beta channel too. So even if someone knows the passcode or pattern to your phone, your WhatsApp chats will still sit behind the prints of your finger.

To enable WhatsApp Fingerprint Lock, head over to Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock. You can also choose when the fingerprint lock will be activated. You can set it to automatically lock immediately upon closing, after 1 minute, or after 30 minutes. This is handy in case you don’t want to constantly keep unlocking the app every time you quit it. There’s no secondary method to unlock your WhatsApp account (like a pin or a pattern) along with the fingerprint method.

Fingerprint lock has existed for all iPhone users since February this year. In fact, WhatsApp on iOS also supports a secondary biometric method which is not available for Android users right now. iPhone users, from iPhone X onwards, who have access to Face ID can also use it to unlock WhatsApp.

If you haven’t received the option to unlock WhatsApp with your fingerprint, simply head over to the Google Play Store and update your application to receive it. But since the feature is currently being rolled out, you might not get the update immediately.

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