Two-factor authentication: More security for WhatsApp

Two-factor authentication makes your WhatsApp account even safer.

A new update is here to make the UK’s favourite messenger app even more secure. After the end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication is now here. This allows you to protect your WhatsApp account even better.

We will explain how to do this and what you need to do to activate verification in two steps.

WhatsApp is still considered an unsafe messenger. Also the introduction of the end-to-end encryption did little to change this. Nevertheless WhatsApp is and remains the UK’s favourite messenger.  There are millions of users in the UK who are often chatting about intimate secrets that are often very revealing. Then the account is hacked and criminals read your chats. To prevent this, there is now two-factor authentication.

Two-Factor Authentication – What is it?

The two-factor authentication is a special method of identity verification. This ensures that you enter an additional code when registering. Usually you log on to the computer and get the second code on your smartphone. This ensures that you are actually the authorised user. Also, Facebook (since 2011), Google (2012) and Instagram (2016) offer this type of identity check. Now WhatsApp has been upgrading and preventing your accounts from being hacked in the future. Criminals hack your account by misusing your phone number or reusing your sim card after a theft.

Two-factor authentication with WhatsApp

But how does two-factor authentication work with WhatsApp? WhatsApp is used primarily on your phone, so an additional code sent to the mobile phone makes little sense. Therefore, it works a bit differently: The first factor is your telephone number, with which you registered with WhatsApp. The second factor is a six-digit code that you define yourself. This is not an identity check in two steps, but only a pin, which you also enter when you connect your phone number to WhatsApp.

In order to have further protection, WhatsApp asks for this pin at irregular intervals. Without the pin, no one can connect your phone number to WhatsApp or retrieve any unrecorded messages.

Two-factor authentication is voluntary

With WhatsApp, two-factor authentication is voluntary. To use it, you must first download the latest version of the app. Then you can activate it by clicking “Settings” in the top right of the menu, selecting “Account” and clicking “Verification in two steps”. Now enter your personal pin, which you should remember. Also, do not forget to provide your email address. If you forget your code, you can retrieve it using the e-mail. If you do not register your address, you can block yourself from your own account, in a worst case scenario.

But beware: If your e-mail address is known, you can of course, get spam. Therefore, do not open an email for two-step deactivation, which you did not request yourself. If you forgot your code, but you did not enter an e-mail address, you cannot use your account for seven days. After this deadline, you will return to your account – without an access code. Unrecovered messages are then deleted.

For more information on the topic, see WhatsApp: Enabling 2-Factor Authentication.  In addition, this YouTube video shows you how to start the verification: