The consequences of not providing your email address when activating WhatsApp’s two-step verification feature

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two-step verification
  • 2 years ago
  • Posted: November 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Well, yesterday we wrote a story about WhatsApp’s new two-step verification feature. Basically when you have two-step verification enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit passcode that you created using this feature. Note that this is an optional feature that you can enable or disable at will.

As we had highlighted at some point when you are enabling two-step authentication you will be prompted to enter your email address and then confirm it latter. Alternatively you could opt to not provide your email by skipping that step. Apparently this email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit passcode, and also to safeguard your account. It is surprising that WhatsApp does not send you a link to your email address to verify whether it is genuine.

The problem is that if you do not provide your email address and you ultimately forget your six-digit passcode you will not be in a position to reverify your WhatsApp until after 7 days. Finally when you reverify after the 7 days without your passcode all pending messages will be deleted.

To add salt to injury, if you forget your six-digit passcode and you did not provide an email address and you go ahead and reverify your number on WhatsApp after 30 days without your passcode, your account will be deleted and a new one will be created upon successfully reverifying.

The following is part of the statement from WhatsApp’s support documents:

“If you have two-step verification enabled, your number will not be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp within 7 days of last using WhatsApp without your passcode. Thus, if you forget your own passcode, but did not provide an email to disable two-step verification, even you will not be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp within 7 days of last using WhatsApp. After these 7 days, your number will be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp without your passcode, but you will lose all pending messages upon reverifying – they will be deleted. If your number is reverified on WhatsApp after 30 days of last using WhatsApp, and without your passcode, your account will be deleted and a new one will be created upon successfully reverifying.”

WhatsApp will periodically prompt you to enter your passcode so as to help you remember it though they have not outlined how often this will be.

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Mr. Felix
A Math Nerd and a Computer Geek. Currently a Windows 10 Insider. Interested in AI, big data and AR/VR. Takes a keen interest in developments in the tech, business and social media spheres.
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