How to better secure your WhatsApp backup in the cloud?

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption for backing up to Google Cloud and iCloud. The option is activated in the settings of the mobile application.

After normalizing end-to-end encryption by default for conversations and file sending, a feature that has been in place since 2016, the WhatsApp instant messaging application started another project in 2021: the same level of security for remote backups. To give. Clearly, that archives kept in Google Cloud and iCloud are also very secure.

End-to-end encryption is a mathematically-based method of hiding data in a layer that is incomprehensible, in order to ensure its confidentiality and integrity. To see clearly, you have to use a secret key (eg a password, so the interest is not to write it anywhere). In principle, a person who does not have it cannot understand the data.

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WhatsApp Backup’s cloud encryption becomes reality. // source: whatsapp

WhatsApp offers cloud backup, as there may be situations where having a backup outside the smartphone can save a person money. If he loses his phone, he can restore some conversations (in any case to the date of the last backup) when reinstalling instant messaging on the new model.

Encrypting backups in the cloud is a useful safeguard, in addition to other actions taken by applications, such as two-step verification. It also helps to keep the WhatsApp archive secure in case your cloud account is compromised. It has no bearing on the collection of metadata, third party information and legal levers to unlock the phone.

How to activate end-to-end encryption for my WhatsApp backup?

  • Launch the WhatsApp application on your smartphone;
  • At the top right of the screen, click the vertical ellipsis, and then click “Settings” in the newly appeared menu;
  • In the central menu, at the bottom of the list, click “Discussion” and then “Save discussion”;
  • You will see a line titled “End-to-end encrypted backup” which is disabled by default. Click on it and press the green “Activate” button;
  • You will then have the option to choose between two methods, either Apple or Google, to secure your collection in the cloud. Either by creating a password or by using a 64-digit encryption key generated by WhatsApp.
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You can choose either a password or an encryption key. One will be easier to remember than the other, but the key may be stronger thanks to its length. If you go for the second solution, it can be very important to use a password manager to store it in a safe place.

Meditation ! If you forget the password and lose the smartphone, the backup will be inaccessible. Please determine how you plan to remember the password (for example, it should not be noted on the memo). If you choose an encryption key, you may need to choose a password manager to store it, as otherwise it will be very hard to remember.

  • If you choose a password, you must respect the minimum security criteria (numbers and letters and a certain common length). On the other hand the key will be imposed on you;
  • You will need to re-enter your password for confirmation and then press “Create” to start the encryption process, which will take place in the background;
  • On the line “End-to-end encrypted backup” the words “Enabled” will be entered;
  • Note that you have the option of changing the password for the backup or disabling end-to-end encryption. So you need to enter your code and confirm your choice, then click “Finish”.
The end-to-end encryption of backups on WhatsApp is not irreversible. You can easily change the password or revert to the previous state without any encryption.

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Photo credit of one:
Nino Barbe for Numerama, Wikimedia/Public Domain

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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