WhatsApp Web gets additional security layer to link account to PCs

Whatsapp Web

As millions of people have now access to WhatsApp on their PCs and laptops, the Facebook-owned platform has announced that they will be adding an additional layer of security where users will be able to link their WhatsApp account on mobile phones to their computers.

Now, in order to link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your WhatsApp account, you will asked to use your face or fingerprint in order to unlock it on your phone, before you are asked to scan a QR code from the phone in order to link your device.

This new security update for linking devices will be introduced along with a visual redesign to the WhatsApp Web page on phones and users will need it to be compatible over the coming weeks.

“We’re putting even more security into WhatsApp Web and desktop, adding an additional layer of protection when you want to link your WhatsApp account to your computer,” the company said in a statement.

As per WhatsApp, this move will limit the chance that a housemate or office colleague can link devices to your WhatsApp account without your presence. 

“This builds on our existing security measures today, which pop up a notice in your phone whenever a Web/Desktop login occurs, and the ability to unlink devices from your phone at any time,” the company noted.

WhatsApp has also added that the face and fingerprint authentication will take place on your device in a privacy-preserving manner – by design.

“WhatsApp cannot access the biometric information stored by your device’s operating system”.

The move has been rolled out at a time when WhatsApp has been facing immense backlash in India over its upcoming privacy policy.

In January last year, it was found that WhatsApp on Desktop (Web) application was allegedly exposing personal mobile numbers using indexing on Google Search.

As per independent cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia, there are screenshots that have been shared with IANS that have shown indexing of personal mobile numbers of WhatsApp users via Web version on Google Search.

WhatsApp had earlier said that it did ask Google not to index such chats and also advised users not to share group chat links on publicly accessible websites.

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