WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app owned by Meta, has announced that it is rolling out passkey support for Android users. Passkeys are a new way to sign in to apps and websites without using passwords. They are more secure and convenient than traditional methods of authentication.
What Are Passkeys and How Do They Work?
Passkeys are a type of FIDO credential that are stored on the device itself and not on any server. They allow users to sign in to apps and websites using their device’s biometric features, such as fingerprint, face scan or PIN. This way, users do not have to remember or enter passwords, which can be easily forgotten, stolen or hacked.
Passkeys are also resistant to online attacks like phishing, where hackers try to trick users into revealing their passwords or personal information. Unlike passwords, passkeys cannot be reused across different apps or websites, so even if one app or website is compromised, the others are still safe.
WhatsApp has announced to roll out support for a password-less passkey feature to all Android users:
— indulgexpress (@indulgexpress) October 17, 2023
How to Enable Passkeys on WhatsApp for Android?
To enable passkeys on WhatsApp for Android, users need to follow these steps:
- Open WhatsApp and go to Settings > Account > Passkeys.
- Tap on Create a passkey and read the popup message that explains how passkeys work. Tap on Continue.
- Choose the biometric option that you want to use for your passkey: fingerprint, face scan or PIN. You may need to scan your fingerprint or face or enter your PIN to confirm your choice.
- You will see a confirmation message that your passkey has been created. Tap on Done.
Now, whenever you need to log in to your WhatsApp account on a new device, you can use your passkey instead of a password or an SMS code. You will see a prompt on your device asking you to verify your identity with your biometric option. Once you do that, you will be able to access your WhatsApp account.
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What Are the Benefits of Using Passkeys on WhatsApp?
Using passkeys on WhatsApp has several benefits for users, such as:
- Enhanced security: Passkeys are more secure than passwords or SMS codes, as they cannot be guessed, stolen or hacked by online attackers. They also prevent unauthorized access to your WhatsApp account by anyone who does not have your device or biometric data.
- Simplified login: Passkeys make it easier and faster to log in to your WhatsApp account on a new device, as you do not have to enter a password or wait for an SMS code. You just need to use your device’s biometric feature and you are good to go.
- Reduced hassle: Passkeys eliminate the need to remember or manage passwords for your WhatsApp account, which can be a hassle for many users. You do not have to worry about forgetting or resetting your password or getting locked out of your account.
What Are the Limitations of Using Passkeys on WhatsApp?
While passkeys offer many advantages over passwords, they also have some limitations that users should be aware of, such as:
- Device dependency: Passkeys are tied to the device that you use to create them, so if you lose or change your device, you will need to create a new passkey for your WhatsApp account. You will also need to have access to your device whenever you want to log in to your account on another device.
- Biometric variability: Passkeys rely on your device’s biometric features, which may vary depending on factors such as lighting, angle, dirt or injury. This may cause some errors or delays in verifying your identity with your passkey.
- Compatibility issues: Passkeys are not supported by all apps and websites yet, so you may still need to use passwords for some of them. For example, there is no confirmation regarding passkey support for iPhones yet.
Passkeys are a new and innovative way to sign in to apps and websites without using passwords. They offer more security and convenience than traditional methods of authentication. WhatsApp has announced that it is rolling out passkey support for Android users, which will allow them to log in to their accounts using their device’s biometric features. However, passkeys also have some limitations that users should keep in mind before using them.