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WhatsApp Introduces Additional Passkeys Support for iOS

Image Source: DenPhotos / Shutterstock

WhatsApp has recently announced the inclusion of Passkeys support specifically for iOS users. In the preceding year, this messaging platform, now under Meta’s ownership, had initially unveiled a passwordless login feature for Android users.

Passkeys have gained popularity due to their heightened security measures, leveraging biometric data (such as fingerprints or Face ID) for authentication instead of traditional, easily compromised passwords. Major tech players like Apple, Microsoft, and Google, as members of the FIDO Alliance, have been strong advocates for Passkeys. They underline the robust security of WebAuthn technology, which securely stores data on the user’s device, replacing less secure methods like SMS-based two-factor authentication and weak passwords susceptible to brute force attacks.

Numerous prominent companies such as Amazon, Twitter, GitHub, Nintendo, and Sony PlayStation have already adopted Passkeys. Additionally, password management tools like 1Password, KeePassXC, and Proton Pass have integrated this feature as well. Hence, it is no surprise that WhatsApp has chosen to incorporate Passkeys to bolster the security of its users and their information.

Steps to Enable Passkeys for WhatsApp on iOS

1. Launch WhatsApp and go to Settings > Account.

2. Select Passkeys > Create a Passkey.

3. You will need to confirm the setup by using your Screen Lock, such as your device’s PIN, Face ID, or Touch ID.

Post setup completion, the Passkey will be stored locally on your device.

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Note: To remove a Passkey, navigate to Settings > Account > Passkeys, then select the Revoke option.

As this feature is currently undergoing a phased rollout, immediate access to Passkeys may not be available. It will gradually be made accessible to all users over the following weeks.

Enabling a Passkey for your WhatsApp account allows you to log in sans a password. WhatsApp specifies that this passwordless login approach can be utilized even when your device is offline.

Alice Newton-Rex, WhatsApp’s Head of Product, informed Engadget that introducing Passkeys support for iOS aims to provide a more user-friendly login experience while ensuring an added security layer. WhatsApp’s support page mentions that Passkeys are compatible with all iPhone models (iPhone 8 or newer) running on iOS 16 or higher.

The Verge received a statement from WhatsApp’s spokesperson Zade Alsawah, mentioning that desktop users will still need to employ their phone’s camera to scan a QR code when attempting to use the Linked devices feature. This restriction is in place as Mac, Windows PCs, and WhatsApp Web cannot act as a primary device for an account, a divergence from services like Gmail and Microsoft that permit Passkey storage on computers featuring functionalities like Windows Hello or Touch ID.

Noteworthy, Bitwarden Password Manager has also introduced Passkeys support for its mobile applications on both iOS and Android as part of an ongoing beta test.

Image Source: DenPhotos / Shutterstock

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