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- To lock WhatsApp on your phone, go to the app’s settings and enable fingerprint lock or FaceID.
- You’ll need to unlock your phone each time you close WhatsApp or after one to 30 minutes.
- You can protect your account with disappearing messages, chat archiving, and two-step verification.
WhatsApp is a messaging app that prides itself on security. All texts, chats, and video calls rely on end-to-end encryption so you can have confidence that nothing you do in WhatsApp can be intercepted or monitored.
It’s possible to make WhatsApp even more secure, by protecting the app itself with whatever biometric security your phone has, such as fingerprints or Face ID. This way, even if someone gets physical possession of your phone, your WhatsApp messages will remain secure.
How to lock WhatsApp on Android
You can use your Android phone’s fingerprint reader to ensure you’re the only one who can open the app.
1. Open WhatsApp on your Android device.
2. Tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner of the screen and then choose Settings.
Start by going to the “Settings” screen on WhatsApp.
3. Tap Privacy.
4. At the bottom of the screen, tap Fingerprint Lock.
Tap “Fingerprint Lock.”
5. On the Fingerprint lock screen, turn on Unlock with fingerprint by tapping on the toggle on the right.
6. Confirm your fingerprint by touching the sensor with one of the fingers you have registered with the phone.
7. Choose how long before WhatsApp requires a fingerprint scan to re-enter the app after you close it. You can choose Immediately, After 1 minute, or After 30 minutes.
When you turn on the fingerprint lock, you can specify how long before a fingerprint is required to unlock the app.
Quick tip: By default, you will be able to preview the sender and message when you get a notification from WhatsApp on Android. If you don’t want this, you can tap the toggle next to Show content in notification in the Fingerprint lock screen to turn it off.
How to lock WhatsApp on iPhone
You can lock WhatsApp on your iPhone with Face ID or Touch ID, depending upon what model iPhone you have. Regardless of which iPhone you have, the process is the same.
1. Open WhatsApp on your iPhone.
2. Tap Settings in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Tap “Settings” in the lower right corner of the screen.
3. Tap Privacy.
4. At the bottom of the screen, tap Screen Lock.
5. On the Screen Lock page, you’ll either see Require Face ID or Require Touch ID. Tap the toggle next to that option to turn this security feature on.
6. Choose how long before WhatsApp requires Face ID or Touch ID to re-enter the app after you close it. You can choose Immediately, After 1 minute, After 15 minutes, or After 1 hour.
When you turn on the Face ID or Touch ID lock, you can specify how long the app waits before requiring an unlock.
Other ways to protect your WhatsApp messages
Besides locking your phone, there are other ways you can protect your WhatsApp account and messages from unwanted access. Here are a few more:
- Enable disappearing messages: If you want to send someone a message that self-erases after a period of time, you can enable disappearing messages. Afterward, any message will disappear after a day, a week, or three months, depending on the length of time you’ve chosen.
- Archive sensitive chats: Instead of deleting messages to hide them from anyone snooping through your WhatsApp, you can archive their respective chats instead. This will remove the chats from the Chats tab, but you can always access and restore them later on from the Archived screen.
- Enable two-step verification: On top of biometrics, you can add an additional layer of protection to your account when setting up WhatsApp on a new phone by enabling two-step verification. To do that on both Android and iPhone, go to Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification and tap Turn On. You’ll then need to enter a passcode and an email address (you can skip this).
Quick tip: Although the email address is optional when enabling two-step verification, you should enter it as a backup in case you forget your passcode.