Did you know that WhatsApp secretly enabled the feature to lock and unlock the app with your fingerprint?
As usual WhatsApp woke up and tried to catch up with Telegram messenger which released the feature very early on in the year. Telegram has grown tremendously in countries with heavy monitoring and censorship primarily by the government.
It is no wonder that ever since the social media tax bill was passed in Uganda and implemented, the Ugandan users on Telegram have increased substantially as can be seen in Telegram’s nifty “Add People Nearby Feature” which allows you to join local groups near you and make friends.
The Fingerprint lock feature on WhatsApp was first released and tested through their now full beta program mid-year 2019. It is no surprise that later, it was slipped into WhatsApp GB, the unofficial WhatsApp client and now the original app.
With all the iPhone-ships, car-ships, situation-ships, courtships, confused-ships, food-ships, sinking-ships, nude-ships, etc; many users need to lock their apps to prevent unintended access. So, most of the users have been relying on third-party locking apps and deleting chats.
Rejoice all ye with things to hide like Osama Bin Laden, the developers heard your call and provided. As long as your phone is fingerprint enabled, you are sorted. Which means if yours does not, you’ll have to upgrade to a new phone depending on how badly you want it.
This is because we didn’t see an option to insert a pin code or password the way other apps including the system lock do just in case your phone doesn’t have a fingerprint reader or it has issues. All the phones we tested this on had fingerprint readers.
So How Do You Enable the Fingerprint Feature on WhatsApp?
Go to “WhatsApp settings” on your phone, tap “Account” and then head to “Privacy”. At the bottom you will see the feature, “Fingerprint lock” then enable, “Unlock with fingerprint”. You can set the timer under “Automatically lock” to determine how quickly the app locks after you use it.
If you would like for it to lock the moment you close the app, choose “Immediately”, but if you don’t want to be bothered much as you switch through apps e.g. when sharing images, then pick, “1 minute”.
It is also important to disable, “show content in notifications” if you don’t want people with your phone reading your messages that are always displayed in the notification bar as they come in.
Fingerprint Privacy Concerns
There are concerns about personal privacy and how personal data like fingerprints will be used. It also doesn’t help that users have to share their device fingerprint with a company owned by Facebook which could easily link it to your other information and profile you.
Google has tried to put in place terms against this, that’s why most apps access the fingerprint information from your existing android information rather than requesting you to set it up again, but hey, you never know.
Besides all this, we know you are going to love this article and we hope you engage with us on social media to tell us what you think about all this as well as sharing it with your friends.
In case you don’t find the feature, you can download the slightly stable WhatsApp Beta version from WhatsApp’s official website here.
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