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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

Whatsapp updates: New security updates for Users

With the use of faster and more secure passkeys in place of passwords and two-factor authentication, WhatsApp is revolutionising the way billions of users enter into the messaging service.
The action is a part of a larger trend in the computer sector to replace outdated password technology with the more contemporary passkey format, which uses a simple numeric code plus biometric data, such as fingerprints, to identify individuals.

Google recently announced a similar change that will include passkeys to its YouTube, Maps, and Search apps. The update for WhatsApp will initially only affect Android users.

“Passkeys represent a novel approach to regain access to your account,” stated WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart. “This adds an extra layer of security and is a more secure method of verifying it’s really you.”

Self-destructing voice notes are also being made available to users of WhatsApp as part of new privacy-enhancing initiatives on the most widely used messaging service in the world.

Though it is anticipated that all users will eventually have access to the update, it is now only available to beta testers who have the most recent version of WhatsApp installed on their computer or phone.

With over 2.7 billion users globally, most of whom use Android smartphones, WhatsApp upgrades usually need to be rolled out gradually to ensure that any potential security flaws do not have a significant impact.

Both Android and iOS users can utilise the self-destructing audio messages, which were initially discovered by WhatsApp feature tracker. No timeline has been provided for when a larger rollout may be anticipated.

Release dates for feature updates are not discussed by WhatsApp unless they have to do with security.

WABetaInfo stated, “You won’t be able to listen to the voice note after sending it with view once mode enabled, and the recipient can’t listen to the voice note after dismissing it.”

“This mode effectively adds another layer of privacy for sensitive and confidential information by reducing the likelihood of unauthorised access or later listening.”

The most recent version comes after newly included features like “Channels,” which let users follow brands and celebrities within the app, and a “Create” button that lets users create original artwork on the site.

With WhatsApp’s new make feature, users can now make stickers without the need for specialised design knowledge or additional tools. This is the first instance of generative artificial intelligence in messaging.

Alternatively, like previous AI image generators like Midjourney and OpenAI’s Dall-E, the bespoke stickers can be created with straightforward text-based prompts.

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