WhatsApp the popular messaging app has just announced that it has started rolling out two-step verification for its users across all platforms. While the feature was being tested on the beta versions of Android earlier, it looks the tests have been completed successfully. And it is being extended to all smartphone users.
Basically, this new feature will add extra security and at the same time ensure a more secure activation of the app on any device. The app will now also prevent someone else from activating your phone number without a six-digit passcode.
The two-step verification is an optional feature. So you can either enable or disable the feature. However, WhatsApp does recommend that you should enable this feature, "For added security, enable two-step verification to require a passcode when registering your phone number with WhatsApp."
Besides, if you do enable this feature then every time you setup WhatApp on a different smartphone, you'll need a code for accessing the account. Similarly, no one will be able to verify your phone number without providing the passcode.
How to enable this feature?
To enable the feature first launch the app and go to Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Once you click the enable button then you need to enter the six-digit passcode. Choose an easy passcode that you can remember. After you have entered and confirmed the passcode then WhatsApp will ask you to enter your email address. So in case you forget your passcode then WhatsApp will send a link via email to disable two-step verification. The email acts as a safeguard to your account. Confirm and that's it. You will have enabled two-step verification.
You do have an option to disable or change your passcode anytime you want.
One important point, WhatsApp has stated that in case you forget your passcode and did not provide any email to disable the two-step verification, you will be permitted to reverify your number on WhatsApp. However, the process to reverify without a passcode will be allowed only after 7 days. If you do this you will be losing all pending messages.