WhatsApp, the renowned messaging platform owned by Meta, has introduced a new screen lock feature to its online Web application. This addition comes as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to bolster user security and safeguard personal communications. Currently, the feature is exclusively accessible to WhatsApp Web beta users, and its primary function is to thwart unauthorized access to the app without necessitating the account password.
Although the screen lock feature was initially announced the previous year, it is now being officially rolled out after undergoing extensive development and testing. WhatsApp conveyed in a recent blog post, “Last year, we shared an article regarding the screen lock option, a feature for WhatsApp Desktop Beta. With this feature, it would have been possible to protect the app from unauthorized access with a password. When we announced this feature, it was under development so it was not ready for beta testers. However, after a long time of testing, WhatsApp is now releasing this feature to some beta testers that use the latest version of WhatsApp Web and joined the official beta program!”
Those who are already using WhatsApp and find the idea appealing can check to see if the option is available by going to “WhatsApp Settings” and choosing the “Privacy” tab. Once enabled, users have the option to further alter additional parameters that apply while the screen lock is engaged. Users can reset their password by signing out of WhatsApp or scanning the QR code with the app on their smartphone, much like during the original setup procedure.
The new screen lock feature goes beyond merely enhancing user security by also disabling push notifications when the screen is locked. This is a noteworthy inclusion, as incoming message notifications are often visible to anyone glancing at the user’s screen. This feature is especially valuable for individuals who utilize WhatsApp Web in shared or public settings, as it effectively preserves the privacy and confidentiality of their conversations.
According to WhatsApp, the addition of this feature marks a significant advancement in strengthening user privacy. WhatsApp stated that “In our opinion, this definitely helps users maintain the confidentiality of their conversations by enhancing privacy and preventing unauthorized users from viewing their personal information.” Although the feature is only now accessible to beta testers, it is hoped that a larger user base will have access to it in the upcoming weeks.