p Update 09/05/2017: People backing-up WhatsApp conversations through iCloud will now benefit from the messages being encrypted by default.
WhatsApp has confirmed the backed-up files are encrypted and it is believed the feature was introduced in late 2016 but wasn't spotted until now.
WhatsApp has turned on end-to-end encryption across all of its apps, the company has announced.
The Facebook-owned app, which has more than one billion monthly active users, has turned on the Signal Protocol, developed by Open Whisper Systems, by default.
The open-source private messaging system, which has been supported by Edward Snowden, will protect group chats, attachments, voice notes, and voice calls made across WhatsApp on Android, iPhone, Windows devices and some Nokia and BlackBerry models.
The encryption method lets users see content that has been sent but does not allow service providers, such as WhatsApp itself, to access the content of the messages.