(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp said its app can now be locked with biometric security: Your fingerprint. Here's what you need to know and how it works.

What's new with WhatsApp?

You can now lock the WhatsApp mobile app with your fingerprint on Android, following a rollout of the feature to its iOS app earlier this year. 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.

Why is this a thing?

It’s an added level of security, to help ensure you're the only person who can access the WhatsApp app on your mobile device.

How to enable Fingerprint Lock

WhatsApp said you’ll be able to toggle on the feature from within the app’s Privacy settings menu. You'll see options to let the app stay unlocked for one or 30 minutes after you unlock it. There’s also an option that stops the contents of your messages from appearing in notifications.

WhatsApp 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.

WhatsApp 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.

Where is Fingerprint Lock available?

The update to WhatsApp for Android that brings Fingerprint Lock isn't yet live in all regions, but it's rolling out. Earlier this year, WhatsApp rolled out support for Touch ID and Face ID, adding an extra layer of security for iPhone users.

Want to know more?

Check out WhatsApp's blog post and support hub.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.