How to increase WhatsApp privacy and better protect your data

While turning on disappearing messages will give you more privacy, it’s worth remembering that whoever sends a message can still screenshot or take a picture of what’s on the screen.

In addition to disappearing messages, you can also set photos and views to See Once. This, unsurprisingly, behaves exactly as described: the message can only be opened once, and you can’t return to it once it’s closed. When sending a photo or video, tap the icon within a partial circle. If you send a single image or video, people can’t capture it.

Block WhatsApp messages

Inevitably, there are times when you need to hand your phone over to someone else, so your kids can play games, for example, or to show a friend a photo. WhatsApp has two features that can help protect your message if your phone falls into someone else’s hands. First, you can turn on Screen Lock, which keeps the app locked unless you open it with Apple Face ID or other biometrics on Android devices. To turn it on, go to Settings, Privacyand select Screen lock. You will need to configure the biometric options before turning on app lock.

You can also block individual chats on your phone. This means that to send messages to blocked chats, you’ll need to use your phone’s passcode, your face, or your fingerprint to open chats and even view your notifications. To turn it on, touch in a chat and the name of the person, go to chat lockand select the option to block chat. This will move the chat to a new folder that can be accessed swiping down on the Chats tab.

If you opt for the more private approach, it’s also worth considering that any messages that appear could reveal private information. New message notifications can include the entire message or only part of its content when they appear on the screen. If these notifications aren’t read either, they can be read by anyone who picks up your device without having to unlock the phone. These options can be set in Settings, notificationsand Show preview.

Prevent people from seeing your personal information

While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption prevents law enforcement, internet providers, and even Meta from seeing what you send, there are still a few additional steps you can take to increase the privacy on your phone and reduce the chances of that your number is attacked. by spammers or scammers. Because WhatsApp is so popular, it is regularly the target of social engineering attacks designed to steal your personal information.

Ways to limit the ways people can interact with your account are found through Settingsfollowed by playing on Privacy. In the simplest form, you can tap to turn off read receipts, the two blue ticks that show up when someone has viewed your message.

More effective are steps that prevent people from adding you to groups. Under the groups settings, there is the option to limit who can add you to a group. By default, it is set to “everyone”. However, it can be changed to my contactseither My contacts except…, admitting some exceptions. Deciding to limit who can add you to groups doesn’t mean you can’t join groups when people aren’t in your contacts. Instead, people who want to add it to groups can request it via a separate message.

Inside Privacy, You can also turn off who can see when you last looked at WhatsApp and when you were last online, who can see your profile picture, About section and WhatsApp status. While you are in the privacy settings, you should also check if you are sharing your live location with anyone.

switch to signal

If you’re looking for more privacy, switching messaging apps is a big hassle, but it might be worth the time and effort. As mentioned above, our preference for combining end-to-end encryption with higher levels of privacy is Signal. A full summary of your privacy choices is here.


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