WhatsApp can now be protected by Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone

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WhatsApp Face ID
Extra protection for your messages.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Your WhatsApp conversations can now be protected by Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone.

The latest update to the world’s most popular messaging app lets users take advantage of the iPhone’s biometric security features for an extra layer of protection. Here’s how it works.

WhatsApp might be owned by Facebook, but unlike Messenger, it takes privacy and security seriously. End-to-end encryption means that your messages cannot be intercepted, and now there’s greater protection for the chats on your device itself.

WhatsApp upgrades on-device protection

The latest WhatsApp update, version 2.19.20, lets you protect the app with Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone. That means your conversations cannot be read by anyone but you.

Biometric security for WhatsApp protects the itself, so you’ll be prompted for authorization as soon as you open it. Sadly, there is no way to protect individual conversations while leaving the rest of the app open.

To enable Face ID or Touch ID protection, open up WhatsApp’s settings menu and select Account, then Privacy, then Screen Lock. Now enable the Require Face ID or Require Touch ID feature.

You’ll have the option to lock WhatsApp immediately, after one minute, after 15 minutes, or after one hour.

One thing to bear in mind …

Even after activating biometric security, WhatsApp messages will still appear in notifications if you don’t have them hidden, and you will still be able to quick reply from those notifications. You will also be able to answer WhatsApp calls without unlocking the app.