WhatsApp has begun rolling out a handful of new security features. The most notable sees the company doing more to protect users against SIM jacking and other social engineering attacks that could compromise your account. The next time you download WhatsApp on a new device, you may be asked to use your old device to confirm you want to move your account to a new phone.
If you’re worried about the potential of being locked out of your account, a WhatsApp spokesperson told Engadget Account Protect will only activate if the company detects a suspicious registration attempt. Moreover, if you don’t have access to your old device, you can request the company send you a second one-time passcode.
Whether or not you decide to switch devices anytime soon, your WhatsApp account will be safer, thanks to the new introduction of new background checks. You won’t need to directly interact with the verification features WhatsApp is adding. Nonetheless, the company says they will help secure your account against malware, and better protect you if your WhatsApp is ever compromised.
Separately, WhatsApp is also making it easier for users to verify their connection with someone is encrypted. Right now, verifying your connection with someone involves either scanning a QR code or comparing a 60-digit number, both of which you can find by tapping the Encryption tab under a contact’s info sheet. Moving forward, tapping the tab will automatically verify whether your connection is secure.
The new features will roll out to all WhatsApp users in the coming months. In the meantime, if you want to do the most you can to secure your account, WhatsApp parent company Meta recommends you enable two-factor authentication and encrypted backups.