WhatsApp 'secret codes' seem built for love rats

WhatsApp has announced ‘secret codes’ which adds extra layer of security for your most private chats, by completely hiding them from the conversation list.

The new feature will hide chosen conversations, which can only be revealed by typing a password into the search bar.

This builds on the relatively new ability to lock chats. While that prevented people from accessing the contents of those chats, it still showed the existence of that chat to anyone who had access to the app.

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Now, if you’re worried about snoopers, any chats you want to keep completely off the record – and you can use your imagination about who might be making use of this feature – can be hidden, only to be summoned by the secret code.

“Rolling out secret code to Chat Lock on WhatsApp so you can protect your chats with a unique password,” Mark Zuckerberg, who runs WhatsApp’s parent company Meta, said today via his own WhatsApp Channel (via TechCrunch).

“Now you can set your locked chats to only appear when you type the secret code in the search bar, so no one can ‘unintentionally’ discover your most private conversations.”

As evidenced by a photo posted to the channel along with the update (above), the password can feature special characters and emoji. The update is rolling out today and over the next few months around the world.

WhatsApp says it isn’t a case of choosing one additional privacy layer over the other. You can have secret chats and locked chats alongside those that are out in the open. You can also protect all of your WhatsApp chats behind Face ID (on iPhone) and there’s always the phone lock itself.

So, this is essentially a fourth layer of protection for those extra private chats. In this case, it’ll almost be like they don’t exist. We’re sure there are plenty of good reasons this feature might exist… say if you’re planning a lovely surprise trip away for the family, for instance, but we’d imagine a fair few cheaters might be seeking to prosper from it.


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