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WhatsApp introduces biometric authentication for web and desktop users: how to use it

On: January 28, 2021
Highlights

  • WhatsApp has introduced a new security feature for WhatsApp Web and Desktop users
  • Users will have to use biometric authentication (face or fingerprint scanner) before scanning the QR code
  • WhatsApp added that it doesn’t store the biometric data and it remains on the user’s device

Instant messaging platform WhatsApp is adding a new security feature for its web and desktop app. Until now, to use WhatsApp Web and the desktop app, users were only required to scan a QR code to connect their account. 

Also Read: WhatsApp delays its updated privacy policy to May 15th

For an advanced secure connection, the Facebook-owned company has introduced biometric security layer for linking users’ accounts to the app’s web and desktop version. WhatsApp stated that the face and fingerprint authentication takes place on the user’s device in a privacy-preserving manner. 

WhatsApp biometric authentication for web and desktop: how to use it

WhatsApp already offers fingerprint lock feature on a mobile app that lets users open the app after their fingerprint is recognized. With the latest fingerprint and face unlock feature for web and desktop versions, others cannot link a user’s WhatsApp account on computers without their presence. The extra layer of security prevents unethical use of WhatsApp on desktop.

It’s worth noting that the feature only works on if the user has enabled biometric authentication on their device. Of course, if they don’t have this enabled, they can link their account as usual.

Users must now use the face or fingerprint unlock on phone before scanning the QR code to connect their accounts to WhatsApp Web and desktop. In a statement, WhatsApp added that this builds on their existing security measures today which pop-up notice in the user’s phones whenever a Web/Desktop login occurs and the ability to unlink devices from their phone at any time. 

You can use the new security feature for WhatsApp web and desktop app by following the steps below. 

  1. First open the WhatsApp mobile app
  2. Tap on the three dots on the top right side and choose WhatsApp Web
  3. Tap ‘Link a Device’
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions if your phone supports biometric authentication 
  5. Once the above step is done, you can scan the QR code that will complete the linking process.

WhatsApp says that it does not store biometric data and it cannot access the details from the phone’s operating system. The new security update for linking devices will be rolled out in the coming weeks. The popular messaging platform will also be introducing visual redesign to WhatsApp Web pages on phones in coming weeks. 

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Viraj Gawde

Viraj loves being in the creative field. Being a tech guy and resident tech advisor for his friends and family, his interest lies in smartphones, laptops and cameras. Passionate about creating art, his forte lies in photography. In his downtime, he loves gaming on his self-built rig and supporting FC Barcelona.