While chats are end-to-end encrypted, their backups are not – this may change soon

WhatsApp is said to be working to add encryption for chat backups that will allow users to easily secure their conversations when storing them in the cloud.

While the company does currently offer end-to-end encryption for messages, calls and other forms of communication, thus making their content visible only to the sender and the recipient, the same protection doesn’t extend to the backups, stored on third-party platforms such as iCloud and Google Drive.

However, that may change soon according to WhatsApp tipster WABetaInfo, which shared four screenshots of the long-anticipated feature. Two screenshots showcase the iOS version while the rest display what the Android version may look like.

“To prevent unauthorized access to your iCloud backup, you can set a password that will be used to encrypt future backups. This password will be required when you restore from the backup,” reads one screenshot of the setup process, which requires the user to confirm their choice by entering their phone number.

Meanwhile, a screenshot of the Android context window shows a warning by WhatsApp that forgotten passwords cannot be recovered. In translation, once you set up the password to encrypt your backups and store it in iCloud or Google Drive, you’d better remember the password – or use a password manager to do the work for you.

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There is no information on whether the feature will be available anytime soon since WhatsApp has remained silent on the subject and refused to confirm or deny if or when the feature will be released.

However, the boost for privacy and security would not come as much of a surprise. The Facebook-owned messaging platform has already released several new features on the heels of the confusing communication of its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service update, which saw users leaving WhatsApp en masse. Just days ago, the chat app extended its audio and video call features to the desktop version of its app.