Facebook Messenger users can now secure chats with App Lock feature

Users can choose whether to lock the application with touch or Face ID

Facebook Messenger has unveiled a Face ID lock option. Stock image. Image: ARUN SANKAR / AFP

Facebook has begun rolling out additional security features for its dedicated chat application, Messenger, that will make it essentially impossible for anyone to read your conversations in the app — even if you give someone your phone.

In recent years, facial recognition technology has made it virtually impossible for smartphones to be accessed by anybody but their owners. The problem remaining then is that once a device is unlocked, all content and information on the phone can be snooped through by anybody.

A common solution to this dilemma is to log out of all apps and ensure that a password is needed to access data. However, passwords have been proven to be a relatively weak form of security if one’s account is the target of a hacker. In response, as an added layer of personal information safety, Facebook is offering iPhone and iPad users the ability to lock their Messenger chats behind a Face ID lock.

Facebook describes this feature, called App Lock, as giving users “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.” People can choose whether to lock the application with touch or Face ID.

This addition is just the first of a series of security measures Facebook will be adding to the platform in the near future, including more controls over who can and cannot message users directly.

Right now, App Lock is only rolling out to iOS users. Android users are expected to gain access to the feature soon.



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