Keep prying eyes away from your Facebook Messenger conversations with new privacy and security features, available now for iOS and coming soon to Android. Whether texting, calling, or video chatting, App Lock provides another layer of protection, ensuring that no one goes snooping around your data.
The optional feature relies on your device’s built-in biometric settings—Touch or Face ID—to unlock the Messenger application. App Lock “gives you the confidence to know that if a friend or family member needs to borrow your phone, they won’t be able to access your chats,” Jay Sullivan, director of product management for Messenger privacy and safety, wrote in a blog announcement.
(Photo via Facebook)
To turn it on, simply tap your profile picture and look for the new Privacy section (below mobile number). “We’re always working to give you more control over your privacy, so as we introduce more privacy features, you’ll have this centralized place to find them,” Sullivan added. Click through to manage secret conversations, see your blocked list, and adjust story settings.
Activate App Lock by toggling the “Require Touch/Face ID” option and choosing when you want it to kick in: immediately after leaving Messenger, one minute after, 15 minutes after, or one hour after. Once you close and reopen the program (allowing for the allotted time to pass), you’ll need to scan your fingerprint or face to begin chatting again.
Facebook is also exploring more ways to control who can reach users on Messenger, as well as additional protections against strangers on the internet. Similar to how Instagram and WhatsApp works, the social network will test the blurring of images in the message requests folder. “This way,” Sullivan said, “you have the choice to view an image from someone you may not know before replying to the message or blocking or reporting the account.”