Recently, Mark Zuckerberg made an exciting announcement regarding a new feature called Chat Lock on WhatsApp. This innovative addition offers users the ability to safeguard their most intimate conversations by implementing a password protection system. By utilizing this feature, users can ensure that these conversations are stored securely within a separate folder. Furthermore, when a locked chat receives a new message, both the sender’s name and the content of the message will remain hidden. This development aims to enhance privacy and provide users with greater control over their personal communications on the platform.
“They’re hidden in a password-protected folder and notifications won’t show sender or message content.”
WhatsApp also said it would be introducing more features in the future as well as adding to Chat Lock over the next few months.
How to lock a chat on WhatsApp
1. Open the WhatsApp, tap the name of a person or group chat
2. Select the “Chat Lock” option, which should be under “Disappearing Messages”
3. Choose a passcode or fingerprint to lock the conversation
4. The conversation will then be moved into a separate “Locked Chats” folder
How to access locked chats on WhatsApp
1. Slowly pull down on the chats inbox to reveal a “Locked Chats” folder
2. Enter the passcode or fingerprint to unlock
3. Locked chats will then appear as normal
Whatsaap Chatlock Feature
This feature essentially creates a separate “locked chats” folder in your chat list similar to archived chats. Here, all chats that you decide to keep locked will be stored and won’t appear in your chat list. This locked chats folder can be opened only with your device password or biometric authentication (fingerprint). The contents of the messages won’t appear in your notifications either.
This feature has started rolling out to all users, so it should be available soon. WhatsApp also plans to add more options for this feature in the coming months. One of these is the ability to lock chats for companion devices and to create a custom password for your chats. This way you can use a unique password that is different from the one you use for your phone.
According to a blog post by the Meta-owned company, they believe that the Chat Lock feature will be highly beneficial for individuals who occasionally share their phones with family members or find themselves in situations where someone else may be holding their phone when an important chat arrives.
The company further expressed their commitment to enhancing the Chat Lock functionality by introducing additional options. These upcoming updates include the ability to lock chats on companion devices and the option to create a personalized password for your chats. This means that users will have the flexibility to use a unique password specifically for their chats, distinct from the one used for unlocking their phones.
In summary, the company recognizes the diverse needs of their users and aims to provide more comprehensive options within the Chat Lock feature, catering to different scenarios and ensuring an even higher level of privacy and security. Although WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, that doesn’t apply when someone has unlocked access to your phone and can see your messages.
The new feature provides an extra layer of security in these instances. The new feature comes a few weeks after WhatsApp added a few new updates around polls and sharing on its platform.
Meta wrote: “Our passion is to find new ways to help keep your messages private and secure. Today, we’re announcing Chat Lock on WhatsApp, which lets you protect your most intimate conversations behind one more layer of security.
“Locking a chat takes that thread out of your inbox and puts it behind its own folder that can only be accessed with your device’s password or biometric, like a fingerprint. It also automatically hides the contents of that chat in notifications, too.
“We believe this feature will be great for people who share their phones from time to time with a family member, or in moments where someone else is holding your phone at the exact moment an extra-special chat arrives,” reads a blog post from Meta.
“You can lock a chat by tapping the name of a one-to-one or group and selecting the lock option. To reveal these chats, slowly pull down on your inbox and enter your password or biometric.”
“Over the next few months, we’re going to be adding more options for Chat Lock, including locks for companion devices and creating a custom password for your chats so that you can use a unique password different from your phone’s.
“We’re rolling out Chat Lock on people globally on WhatsApp beginning today.”
What does this mean for the Online Safety Bill?
The Online Safety Bill would demand that messaging apps scan messages sent through them for illegal content, however WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, meaning only the sender and recipient can see a message’s contents.
End-to-end encryption doesn’t protect someone picking up your phone and reading the messages, however. This latest feature will.
The bill has long been controversial and has drawn criticism from two main camps: online safety campaigners and free speech advocates. The former argue the legislation does not go far enough to protect people, especially children, from the swathes of harmful content online. But the latter see the bill as an enabler to online censorship.
Meta has spoken out against the law and signed an open letter, among other tech companies, saying that it poses “an unprecedented threat to the privacy, safety and security of every UK citizen”.
The letter added that the bill could see the “emboldening hostile governments who may seek to draft copy-cat laws”. Police argue that this allows people to cover up serious wrongdoing, and is a security threat.
The company has said it would resist any move’s to water down it’s privacy policies, which could see it being banned in the UK. “We won’t lower the security of WhatsApp,” said Will Cathcart, head of Meta.
“We have never done that – and we have accepted being blocked in other parts of the world.”
We believe this feature is going to save a lot of people from their family or friends regarding many controversial things they do. This in a few cases is a great step taken by Whatsapp but might also be something that can turn out to be harmful as there are evil minds all around. Let’s see how the users react to this in the near future.