WhatsApp has added another chat security element, with a new lock code option that users can enact to keep others out of their chats in the app.
As you can see in this example, you can now apply a unique code to any of your chats, so that nobody else can access them on your device.
As explained by WhatsApp:
“With a secret code you’ll now be able to set a unique password different from what you use to unlock your phone to give your locked chats an extra layer of privacy. You’ll have the option to hide the Locked Chats folder from your chatlist so that they can only be discovered by typing your secret code in the search bar.”
The new option is an expansion of WhatsApp’s Chat Lock, which it rolled out back in May. Chat Lock is primarily designed to help those who share their phone with others, like family members, which is not common practice everywhere, but is fairly usual in some regions. In developing markets like India, for example, lower-middle class families often only have one device that’s shared by the family, with parents and siblings splitting time.
In situations like this, having the capacity to lock down certain chats could be a big benefit, and could provide more privacy for WhatsApp users.
And now, you’ll be able to add another level of privacy, with manual codes to keep people out of your chats.
Though remembering more codes is less than ideal, but if you really want to keep your chats private…
WhatsApp also notes that you can now long press on a chat to lock it, rather than visiting the chat’s settings.
The option adds another level of data privacy and security, which is what WhatsApp hangs its hat on, and as such, it makes sense to give users more options on this front.