It's time to secure your WhatsApp account.

WhatsApp rolled out two-step verification on its platform, giving users the ability to secure their accounts with a passcode. The service relies on an SMS confirmation whenever you set it up on a new phone, and the new measure provides an added layer of security. Given the relative ease with which you can set it up and the added security benefits, there's no reason not to create a passcode for your WhatsApp account.

How to enable two-step verification on WhatsApp

  1. Open WhatsApp from the app drawer or the home screen.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the top right corner.
  3. Go to Settings.

    WhatsApp verification

  4. Select Account.
  5. Select Two-step verification.
  6. In the setup window, tap Enable.

    WhatsApp verification

  7. Enter your six-digit passcode and hit Next. Confirm your password.
  8. Enter your recovery email address and hit Next. WhatsApp won't verify your address, so ensure you provide a valid email ID.
  9. You'll see a message that says Two-step verification is now enabled. Hit Done.

    WhatsApp passcode verification

That's it! Your WhatsApp account is now much more secure. You'll get periodic reminders to enter your passcode so you don't forget it, and in the unlikely event that you do, you'll be able to use your email address to disable the feature.

WhatsApp took a huge step toward ensuring its users' privacy earlier this year by making all conversations end-to-end encrypted by default, and given the service has over 1 billion users, that is a big deal. The platform has also seen a constant stream of feature additions this year, including the rollout of a desktop client, introduction of voice calls, improvements to group chats, video calling, and GIF support.

New features make their way to the beta channel weeks (often months) before they're rolled out widely, and if you're interested in getting a first look at upcoming additions, you should consider signing up for WhatsApp beta on Android.