Privacy is a big thing to look for in any messaging app. Nobody wants their private messages to get snooped on, not even by friends and family. Your chats are for your eyes only, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger are adopting new ways to give its users more control over their privacy. App Lock is one of these newest updates from Messenger to make sure that only you can see the Facebook chats on your phone.
For years, Messenger users have been asking for an in-app feature to lock their messages with authentication, instead of relying on third-party apps that put a password on the app. Now that App Lock is here, let’s look at how you can use this and other features to keep all your messages private.
What is App Lock?
When protecting your messages from any prying eyes, putting a passcode or other authentication on your device seems like a good first step. But what about those times when you’ve unlocked your phone to let a friend or family member borrow your device? Now, there’s nothing stopping them (except basic decency) from taking a peek at your chats.
App Lock is Messenger’s new privacy feature to add another layer of security to your messages and prevent unauthorized people from accessing them. With App Lock, you can use your phone’s authentication methods like fingerprint scanning or face ID to unlock the Messenger app. Your touch or face ID will remain on your device and will not be saved or transmitted to Facebook.
With App Lock, only you will have access to your Messenger chats, even when your phone is unlocked.
How to turn on App Lock on Messenger
The App Lock feature can be found in Messenger’s Privacy section, along with other privacy settings. App Lock is currently available for the iOS version of Messenger. This feature will soon be made available for Android.
- Open and log in to your Messenger app.
- Tap your icon at the upper-left corner of the screen.
- From the Settings menu, tap “Privacy”.
- Tap on “App Lock”, and turn on your selected authentication method (Touch ID or Face ID).
- You can then adjust when Messenger should require Touch or Face ID, whether directly after leaving the app, 1 minute after leaving, 15 minutes after leaving, or 1 hour after leaving.
What new privacy settings are to come in the next updates?
Aside from App Lock, many privacy settings are coming soon to Messenger to give us users more control. Messenger will adopt some security settings from Facebook’s other products like Instagram and WhatsApp, like new controls of who can message and call you directly, who gets redirected to your request folder, and who can’t contact you at all.
Messenger will also be testing out new features to improve your privacy when someone you don’t know sends a message. Like in WhatsApp, any images in your requests folder will get blurred, so you can have the option to not see any unwanted photos.
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What else can you do in Messenger to enhance your security?
Enable Secret Conversations.
Secret Conversations are Messenger’s version of end-to-end encrypted messages. When messages are encrypted, this means that only you and your recipient can read your messages, and no intercepting third party – not even Facebook – will be able to decrypt your data and listen in. While Messenger is working to become end-to-end encrypted by default, enabling Secret Conversations is a good move to keep your chats secure today.
Set up two-factor authentication.
When you enable two-factor authentication, Messenger will require two methods of verification every time that you log in from a new phone or computer that they do not recognize. These include your password and a unique login code. You can choose to receive the login code via SMS or through an authentication app like Google Authenticator.
This extra step makes sure that you are the one logging in on your account. Any hacker who knows your password still won’t be able to access your messages.
Add trusted contacts.
In the case that your account gets compromised and you can’t log in, your trusted contacts can help you get your account back. If you ever have trouble accessing your account, Facebook can send your designated contacts a security code and a link that they can send to you, which you can then use to log back into your account.
Messenger is dedicated to making our messaging experience as safe and secure as possible. App Lock is just one of the many current and upcoming features from Messenger to make sure that your messages are seen by your eyes alone.