Whatsapp rolls out two-step verification for additional security: Will it halt rise in false impersonation?

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Ever since the dawn of the age of Android, as some would like to call the present times, the sphere of influence of instant text messenger Whatsapp has been nothing less than a cult in the tech world with millions of users across the globe. There has been much scepticism over the security concerns of the app itself after it was taken over by tech-giant Facebook some time ago. And now, to make the platform even more secure, Whatsapp has rolled out a two-step verification for all its users.

The two-step verification was launched on keeping in view the fact that there has been a rise in false impersonation over the popular chat app for a couple for years now. The two-step verification option includes the option for text-message verification as well as six-digit password verification every time the account is accessed from a different device.

The company touted that users can now verify their numbers more securely. It explained that to enable the feature users will have to rush at the ‘Settings’ option on the app and visit ‘Account’, where the Two-step verification could be enabled. The users with having the feature enabled in their smartphones will have to provide a six-digit code (created earlier) when registering the device to an attempt to verify the phone number through the app. Users can also optionally provide an email ID to recover forgotten passcodes.

“This email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit passcode, and also to help safeguard your account,” the company says on the FAQ page for the feature.

However, the app doesn’t verify the email address provided to confirm its accuracy; hence, it is recommended that the users enter their email address accurately. As if one enters wrong email ID and forgets the passcode, it might end up locked out of the account. But it won’t get locked permanently because the company also offers a feature to deal with such cases and the users who won’t provide an email address. The company says that a number won’t get permitted to reverify within a week of the last using the app without your passcode.

“After these seven days, your number will be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp without your passcode, but you will lose all pending messages upon reverifying – they will be deleted. If your number is reverified on WhatsApp after 30 days of last using WhatsApp, and without your passcode, your account will be deleted, and a new one will be created upon successfully reverifying,” it added.

Experts say that it would help bring down the fraudulent access to someone’s Whatsapp account to a great measure. The two-step verification option would be available for all versions of Whatsapp that are running on Android, iPhone and Windows platform. The current version of the app including those which are due release shortly with better features and bug fixes are expected to have this option.

Even though the two-step verification remains unknown widely to most users as of right now, it is expected that Whatsapp would reach out to its users, who would be using it in future, about the feature’s use. For the old users of Whatsapp, this option can be accessed from the settings of the app and by choosing to turn it on. For some versions, one might need to upgrade to the newer version of the app.

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