• WhatsApp's Account Protect feature double-checks users' identities when switching to a new device
  • The goal of this feature is to prevent malicious individuals from taking over WhatsApp accounts
  • The 'companion mode' is currently being rolled out to all beta users

WhatsApp has recently unveiled enhanced security features designed to provide users with heightened levels of privacy and more control over their messaging activities.

According to the messaging app, these new features will further strengthen the existing end-to-end encryption, thus ensuring enhanced safety. The trio of features now available on WhatsApp includes Account Protect, Device Verification, and Automatic Security Codes.

The Meta-owned messaging platform says the three features are just a glimpse of the supplementary security measures that the platform will acquire soon as the company anticipates sharing further updates in the upcoming months.

Account Protect

WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that double-checks users' identities when switching to a new device to thwart unauthorized account transfers. As part of this added security measure, the app will prompt users to verify their identity on their old device before transferring their account to a new one. The ultimate goal of this feature is to prevent malicious individuals from taking over WhatsApp accounts and gaining access to users' sensitive chats and data.

Automatic Security Codes

Previously, WhatsApp users had to perform a multi-step process to ensure the safety of their encrypted conversations either by scanning a QR code when near the contact or by sharing a lengthy 60-digit code in remote scenarios. However, the messaging platform has now implemented a new feature that seamlessly and automatically verifies secure connections, negating the need for this arduous code-sharing process.

The new cryptographic security feature operates by cross-checking security codes among contacts to confirm their authenticity. Users can navigate to a contact's information and select the encryption tab to verify the security of their conversation.

Device Verification

WhatsApp has introduced measures to enhance account security and safeguard users' privacy from advanced account takeover (ATO) attacks. The new system includes advanced checks to authenticate accounts and minimize unauthorized access that could permit unwanted messages to be sent without the users' consent. According to the platform, user intervention is not required, however, the app will offer enhanced protection in case of device compromise.

According to a representative from WhatsApp who spoke with Engadget, the Account Protect feature will solely come into effect in cases where the company perceives a registration attempt as suspicious. Besides, if users are unable to access their previous device, they can solicit a second one-time passcode from the company.

Companion Mode

The long-awaited dream of operating WhatsApp on multiple devices with a single account has finally come true through a newly introduced feature called "companion mode," which is currently being rolled out to all beta users. "Companion mode" was identified before in earlier stages of beta testing and made available in a limited manner a few months later. Presently, the feature is only accessible to beta testers, but its extension may indicate an imminent public release in the coming days, 9 to 5 Google Reported.