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WhatsApp Web offers browser extension to double down on security

WhatsApp is adding an extra layer of security to its desktop web app after noticing an uptick in usage following the addition of multi-device capability.

Users chatting via WhatsApp Web, which no-longer requires a connection to the smartphone, can now install a new browser extension to double down on their security.

The browser extension is called Code Verify and is an open source built tool in partnership with Cloudflare. The idea is to confirm the WhatsApp code you’re using hasn’t been altered or tampered with. WhatsApp says the protections for browser users aren’t as secure as self-contained apps because the code can reach users without being checked for tampering.

In a blog post from WhatsApp parent company Meta, the company writes: “There are many factors that could weaken the security of a web browser that don’t exist in the mobile app space, such as browser extensions. Additionally, because the mobile app space was built after the web was created, the security guarantees offered on mobile can be stronger, particularly given that third-party app stores review and approve each app and software update.”

WhatsApp says Code Verify works by Cloudflare cross-referencing a code provided by WhatsApp with the code that’s currently running in your browser. It’s actually pretty straight forward. If nothing’s wrong, there’ll be a green light signal to continue. An amber light advises you to refresh the part, while red means something is amiss.

The post continues: “Once installed, Code Verify will run automatically when you go to WhatsApp Web and act as a real-time alert system for the code you’re being served on WhatsApp Web. Pinning the extension to your web browser’s toolbar will allow you to see its findings without any additional steps.”

Right now its available for Chrome and Edge, with Firefox coming soon. However, there’s nothing about Safari to report right now.

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