6 things you should do to improve your privacy on WhatsApp

Whatsapp is the messaging app that millions of people turn to around the world and it’s easy to see why. The app can be considered the Swiss Army Knife of texting thanks to its many features like group chats and status stories , as well as striking a great balance between ease of access and overall security.

That said, no app is completely safe from online attacks and unwanted app access, including WhatsApp. Therefore, the responsibility of keeping your WhatsApp account as secure and private as possible rests ultimately with the owner of the phone . Because of this, we’ve put together ten super tips that you can follow right now to improve your privacy and security while using the messaging app.

Table of Contents

Block WhatsApp with biometric data

Using biometric access like Face ID or your fingerprint to unlock the WhatsApp application gives you an additional layer of security. To activate it, go to WhatsApp settings from the menu button at the top right or the ” Settings ” tab at the bottom right. Then go to ” Account ” and ” Privacy ” and enable ” Fingerprint lock ” (Android) or ” Screen lock ” (iOS).

Once enabled, you have the option to automatically block WhatsApp after a certain amount of time has passed. This can range from “Immediately” up to an hour. After making the choice, you will have to scan your fingerprint or your face to open WhatsApp when you have been inactive.

Set your notifications as private

Notification previews are a great way to view and reply to WhatsApp messages on the go. However, this feature can be a nightmare when it comes to your privacy , as it also allows other people to view incoming messages from above your shoulders, so you may want to disable the feature to avoid potential headaches.

Go to WhatsApp -> Settings -> Notifications if you are using an iPhone. From there, you can disable ” Show notifications ” by tapping the corresponding options for the ” Message notifications ” and ” Group notifications ” sections . If you still want to receive an alert but want to hide the preview, press the button next to ” Show preview ” to deactivate the function.

If you are on Android, on the other hand, go to WhatsApp -> Menu button -> Settings -> Notifications -> Pop-up notification , and once inside the ” Notifications ” page , touch the ” Pop-up notification ” tabs found inside of the ” Message Notification ” and “Group Notification ” sections . From there, select ” No popup window ” in the message that appears to disable the alerts. Unlike iOS, there is no option to enable notifications with hidden preview.

Block different people

Harassment messages come in many forms, from annoying requests that waste your time to downright scary threats that can ruin your day. Fortunately, WhatsApp allows you to prevent unwanted people from sending you harassing messages to maintain your privacy .

To block a contact on iOS , touch the chat you want to block, then press the banner at the top of the next page to enter that person’s ” Contact Information ” page and select ” Block Contact ” once inside. If you have received a message from someone who is not in your contact list, the option to block the number will appear within the conversation page.

Blocking a contact on Android requires a few more steps , and can be completed by selecting a suspicious message and tapping the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner. Press ” More ” in the overlay that appears, then select ” Block ” in the next pop-up window. However, like iOS, you can instantly block a sender directly from the chat page if the person is not on your contact list.

Limit visibility

WhatsApp also gives you the ability to control your online presence within the application and configure your visibility according to your personal preferences to ensure that you feel comfortable when it comes to your privacy.

In iOS go to WhatsApp -> Settings -> Account -> Privacy for Androdi go to WhatsApp -> Menu button -> Settings -> Account -> Privacy . From here, you can configure your online visibility for the following:

  • ” Last Seen” shows other people the last time they used WhatsApp. Set it to “My Contacts” or “Nobody”, depending on the level of privacy you want to maintain. Note that selecting the latter will also disable your ability to see  other people’s Last Seen status . 
  • ” Profile picture” allows other people to see your WhatsApp profile picture. Naturally, you’ll want to set this to “My Contacts” or “Nobody” to prevent complete strangers from knowing your appearance.
  • By default, the ‘ About‘ section of your profile is set to ‘ Hello! I’m using WhatsApp «, although you can customize it to show your personality and interests at a glance. Again, set this to “My Contacts” or “Nobody” depending on your comfort level.
  • As fun as group chats are, having a stranger add you to a group conversation can be disconcerting, so you may want to control who can add you by selecting “My Contacts” to limit it to people you really know.
  • Depending on what you want to share, your WhatsApp status can convey intimate details about you, from how you feel to where you are. You can limit your exposure by selecting ” My contacts except” to keep specific contacts to see their status, or “Only share with” to limit your visibility to only the contacts you select.

Read also : All the data that WhatsApp collects about you

Read messages without the sender knowing

WhatsApp employs a nifty feature that lets you know if someone has read your message. These simple read “ticks” come in the form of a pair of blue check marks to indicate their read status. However others can also see if you have read their messages.

There are numerous workarounds that you can use to view WhatsApp messages without alerting the sender; you can access the easiest. Enter: Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Read receipts (iOS) or WhatsApp -> Button menu -> Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Read receipts (Android). Just keep in mind that if you choose the route described above, you will no longer be able to receive alerts through read receipts for the messages you send. It’s also worth noting that the feature will continue to work within group chats.

Other than that, the other methods you can employ to sneakily read messages not only work for individual and group chats, but also leave the read receipt feature intact so you can see if your messages have been read. These solutions include disconnecting or exploiting your phone’s notifications, which we’ve covered in more detail in the guide below.

Hide conversations

For any chat you want to hide from prying eyes, WhatsApp offers you the option to archive conversations to keep them largely hidden from view . The process is incredibly simple: long- press on the conversation thread you want to hide , then tap ” Archive ” (box with the arrow pointing down) in the Action bar at the top if you’re on Android.

For iOS, long press chat and swipe up on the preview screen and select ” Archive ” from the bottom menu, or just swipe left on chat and hit the ” Archive ” button that appears on the right . . Note that you can view archived chats by scrolling down the conversation list.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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