WhatsApp’s end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android are available starting Thursday, Facebook announced. The company has offered end-to-end encryption for chats for years, but with this new change, you can get that same level of encryption with your backups. The feature will be rolling out “slowly” for people on the latest version of the app.
WhatsApp backups are stored in iCloud or Google Drive, but that means that Apple or Google could hand over the backups to governments or law enforcement if compelled. With the change available on Thursday, you can secure your WhatsApp cloud backups with a password or a 64-digit encryption key, which theoretically means that no one else but you will be able to access the backup.
You can read more about how the encrypted backups work in our article about the original announcement of the feature and in a white paper from Facebook. And if you want to turn on end-to-end encrypted backups for your account, Facebook has a guide you can follow here.
Update October 14th, 4:31PM ET: Added details about the rollout of end-to-end encryption.