WhatsApp Inc. has quietly added a new security feature to the world's most popular mobile messaging app. The feature was first released in beta back in November 2016 to a limited set of users and is now being rolled out world-wide to over a billion users. Unlike most of its feature announcements, WhatsApp silently updated the FAQ section on their website [WhatsApp FAQ - Two-Step Verification] informing the users about this feature.
Once the user enables two factor authentication on their phone, any attempt to verify their phone number will require entering 6-digit code that initially created. Enabling the feature is easy. Head over to WhatsApp app on your phone and tap on 'Settings' > 'Account' -> Two-step verification > Enable. Create a 6-digit passkey that you can remember easily. The app asks for email ID in case you wish to retrieve your passkey. It is very important that your passkey is NEVER shared with anyone.
The FAQ highlights that providing a correct email address would ensure that you are never locked out of your account, in case you forget your passcode. In addition, you will have to wait for a period of seven days before attempting to re-verify your phone after using the code.
If you attempt to verify your phone number after about a month of last using WhatsApp, but do not use the passkey, your existing WhatsApp account will be deleted and a new one will be automatically created. Please do go through the FAQ (link above) before enabling the feature.
WhatsApp will prompt you to enter your passcode periodically so that you do not forget your pass code. This feature cannot be disabled without disabling two-factor authentication feature.
Do let us know your thoughts on two-factor authentication system in WhatsApp. How many of you have enabled it already on your phone?