Can I change my WhatsApp barcode?

Confirm WhatsApp security number: that's what it takes

Suddenly a yellow message from the (WhatsApp) system appears in the contact's chat field: "The security number of contact XY has changed. Tap for more information." That may certainly unsettle one or the other user, after all, you don't really know what that actually means. The most important question is whether you have to be active as a WhatsApper when this message appears? Message from the system when a contact's security number has changed
Screenshot: teltarif.de We answer the question in the following article and solve the puzzle about the WhatsApp security number.

WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted

First of all, it is good to know about WhatsApp's security precautions. Messages in Messenger are encrypted end-to-end. This encryption technology is always active and cannot be overridden or bypassed. In the FAQ section of WhatsApp it says:

WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption ensures that only you and the person you are communicating with can read what has been sent - and no one in between, not even WhatsApp. It does this by securing your messages with locks and only you and the recipient have the keys necessary to decrypt and read them. As an additional level of security, each message has its own unique lock with its own key. All of this happens automatically: you don't have to change any settings or create special secure chats to keep your messages safe.

Confirm WhatsApp security number - here's how

So every chat has its own security number. This confirms that the messages and calls within a chat are end-to-end encrypted. The security number of a chat can be displayed or confirmed in two ways. To do this, it must first be made visible. The QR code can now be scanned on the other smartphone (left)
Image: teltarif.de Using the example of the Android version of WhatsApp, it can be displayed via the contact information. To do this, the contact's chat window must be opened and "View contact" selected in the top right (three dots) in the menu that pops up. Under the item "Encryption", next to a lock symbol, the note "Messages in this chat and calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. Tap to confirm."

When you click on it, the security number appears as a QR code and a 60-digit number combination. These two code generations are unique to each chat. The visualization of the code allows comparison with the displayed code of the chat partner, who can now make the code visible in the same way. The smartphone camera is used for the scanning process
Image: teltarif.de According to WhatsApp, security numbers are only "a visible representation of the special key". This is not the "actual key", it is "kept secret".

To confirm the security number, the QR code on the mobile phone of one chat partner can be scanned with the smartphone of the other chat partner. There is a separate function for this - "Scan code" - in the lower right corner, if the code has already been made visible.

However, this procedure requires that both chat partners face each other physically. Alternatively, the security number can also be compared remotely using the 60-digit number code. The scan of the QR code was successful
Image: teltarif.de As soon as the security number of a contact has changed, the confirmation can also be made from the chat. But the procedure is the same. When you click on the note, two options are given: Either the chat partner has reinstalled WhatsApp Messenger or changed their cell phone. If you click on "Confirm", the QR code and a 60-digit sequence of numbers appear.

The purpose of the comparison is to ensure that the messages in the chat are also encrypted throughout - i.e. to confirm end-to-end encryption. The procedure is basically optional and does not necessarily have to be carried out by the user, but ultimately serves to satisfy the play it safe mentality.

You can read more about data protection and security when using the WhatsApp Messenger in another message.