One of life's biggest challenges on the web today is the near-constant need to remember passwords. Password managers have helped reduce that strain to an extent, but password management remains a hassle for apps that require two-factor authentication.

Therefore, WhatsApp's announcement of the shift to passkeys last year was one of the best bits of news for business owners and other security-conscious app users.

What Are WhatsApp Passkeys?

A passkey is a digital credential that allows consumers to sign into their accounts using the device's built-in authentication methods.

For most people, this means using biometric data such as fingerprints or facial recognition to open their app instead of setting up a username and password, in addition to two-factor authentication.

When you create a passkey, you'll get a "private key" and "public key," which you (or anyone else) will never know about. WhatsApp will use the public key to verify your identity every time you log in to the app using your fingerprint or facial recognition.

FIDO Alliance developed the technology with Microsoft, Apple, and Google. It's also in use for logging into a TikTok, PayPal, or Google account.

The Benefit of WhatsApp Passkeys

The first major benefit of WhatsApp passkeys is convenience. Scanning your face or fingerprint to log in to your WhatsApp securely is faster than remembering a lengthy password and waiting a few more seconds to complete the two-factor authentication (if you've also set that up).

Secondly, a passkey is safer and more secure than passwords. Remember, the cryptographic key is on your device. You don't know it, and no one else can assess it. Therefore, there's a lower risk of a personal data breach because the technology is phishing-resistant.

What Do WhatsApp Passkeys Mean for Business Owners?

Business owners reliant on WhatsApp can now have faster access to conversations. Those extra one or two minutes spent typing a password to get into your WhatsApp can add up.

Secondly, your business conversations are now safer and more protected. Some business owners have removed passwords from their WhatsApp to avoid the inconvenience of typing in a password whenever they need to use the app. Others reuse the same "easy to remember" password for the same reason.

However, that puts their private communications at risk of exposure when someone unlocks their phone after putting together that "unforgettable" password. With a passkey, business owners can have more peace of mind about the safety of their critical conversations.

Are WhatsApp Passkeys Safe?

WhatsApp passkeys are only as secure as your biometric settings. Any fingerprints registered on your device can unlock your WhatsApp. Similarly, people with similar facial features may unlock each other's WhatsApp if they use facial recognition as a login option.

Are WhatsApp Passkeys Available to Everyone?

Currently, you can only use a passkey on Android. WhatsApp rolled out the feature to Android users in 2023.

However, a report from WABetaInfo suggests Meta is on the verge of rolling out passkey support for iOS users in the coming weeks, allowing them to unlock their WhatsApp account with FaceID or TouchID.


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