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(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp has introduced a new security feature for mobile users: End-to-end encrypted backups.

Also: 45 secret WhatsApp tips and tricks

End-to-end encrypted backups are available for the iOS and Android versions of the WhatsApp mobile app, Facebook announced. Keep in mind WhatsApp has long offered end-to-end encryption for chats and calls, but now, the tech is available for iCloud and Google Drive backups.

Why should you care about end-to-end encrypted backups?

WhatsApp backups are stored in iCloud or Google Drive, where Apple or Google could comply with law enforcement, if demanded, to hand over your backups. But with end-to-end encryption, your cloud backups can be secured. Basically, WhatsApp users who opt-in are asked to save a 64-digit encryption key or create a password tied to the key. It's all very techy, but, theoretically, it should make it nearly impossible for others to access your backups.

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How to turn on end-to-end encrypted backups in WhatsApp

Remember: You won’t be able to restore your backup if you lose your WhatsApp chats and forget your password or key. WhatsApp can’t reset your password or restore your backup for you. It published a white paper to detail for users how end-to-end encryptions works - specifically for cloud backups, as well.

  1. Open the latest version of the WhatsApp mobile app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.
  4. Tap Continue, then follow the prompts to create a password or key.
  5. Tap Done.
    • Wait for WhatsApp to prepare your end-to-end encrypted backup.
    • You might need to connect to a power source.

Want to know even more?

Check out WhatsApp's support page for end-to-end encrypted backups.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 15 October 2021.