WhatsApp is experimenting with encrypted cloud backups for Android.

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Just make certain that you don’t forget your backup password.

While WhatsApp’s instant communications are encrypted from beginning to end, its cloud-based backups are not. That implies that gaining access to your chat backups, whether maliciously or through a warrant, would give you access to your private communications history. Users who have been beta-testing WhatsApp for Android, on the other hand, now have the option of enabling backup encryption, making their backups and messages more secure.

The much-anticipated security feature is now available in WhatsApp’s newest Android beta version (2.21.15.5). When enabled, both conversation and media history in your cloud backups may be safeguarded using a password. This comes with a catch though: if you lose your phone and forget your password (or the 64-digit recovery key), it won’t be possible to restore your backup.

Your backup password is said to be private, and not shared with WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, or Apple. It can only contain lowercase letters and digits, and if you lose it, WhatsApp can’t help you trying to remember it.

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That concern should be balanced against the fact that even if your Google Drive (or iCloud Drive) is hijacked in any manner, your WhatsApp chat and media history will be safe.

We’re hopeful that WhatsApp will soon make this functionality available to more users, including iPhones. For the time being, it’s accessible through the Google Play Beta Program in the WhatsApp beta app for Android, as well as in our Downloads area.

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