WhatsApp just became a safer chat platform on Friday as two-step verification (the company’s phrase for two-factor authentication) has finally been added to the popular app. The security feature has been available in the beta version of the app since last fall, but starting today, anyone with a WhatsApp account can head to the Settings menu of the app and set up two-step verification.
For those of you who have never used two-factor authentication (2FA), the enhanced security measure adds a second layer to the log-in process, making it more difficult for intruders to access your account.
In order to enable 2FA on your WhatsApp account, you need to open the app and click on Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Once the feature is enabled, you will have to input a six-digit passcode every time you attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp.
You will also have the option to provide WhatsApp with an email address in case you forget the six-digit passcode and need to disable 2FA remotely. WhatsApp will send you a link that will disable 2FA on your account, but the email can also serve as a warning if someone is trying to access your account.
To help users keep their passcodes fresh in their minds, “WhatsApp will periodically ask you to enter your passcode” while you’re using the app. The only way to disable this feature is to turn off 2FA altogether, but according to The Guardian, the app will only ask you to input the passcode once every seven days.