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10 Ways to Improve Privacy and Security on WhatsApp «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



WhatsApp is the go-to messaging app for millions worldwide and it's easy to see why. The app can be considered as the Swiss Army knife with subtitles thanks to many features such as group chats and status stories, as well as getting a good balance between easy access and overall security.

It is said that no app is completely impervious to online hacking and unwanted access, WhatsApp is included. Then the responsibility for keeping your WhatsApp account as safe and private as possible is ultimately resting on your shoulders. Because of this, we have rounded out ten tips you can follow right now to improve your privacy and security when using the messaging program.

first Use two-step verification

Two-step verification gives your WhatsApp account an additional security layer in the form of a six-digit numeric PIN that you have set. This setting complements the 2FA code sent to your registered phone number when logging into another device and providing another block block to further prevent anyone from logging into your account without your approval.

  iOS: WhatsApp> Settings>
Account> Two-step verification

Android: WhatsApp> Menu button> Settings>
Account -> Two-Step Verification 

Then go to the above menu that corresponds to the platform you are using. From there, tap "Activate" on the "Two-Step Verification" page and follow the instructions to create your six-digit pin along with your backup email address to complete the process.

2nd Entering Your Messages into Private

Pre-Preview Previews are a great way for you to view and respond to WhatsApp messages in flight. This feature can be a nightmare in terms of privacy, as it also allows others to see incoming messages across the shoulder, so you may want to turn off the function to avoid potential headaches.

  WhatsApp> Settings> Notifications>
Display Messages (Switch) 

Go to the above menu if you are using an iPhone, and from there you can disable "View Messages" by pressing the corresponding switches for both the Message Messages and "Group Messages" sections. If you still want to be alerted but want to hide the preview, press the switch next to "View Preview" to turn off the feature.

  WhatsApp> Menu button> Settings>
Messages> Popup notification 

If you are on Android, open the above menu and once on the "Notifications" page, tap the "Popup notification" tab located in the message "Message" and "Group notification" sections. From there, select "No popup" from the prompt that appears to disable alerts. Unlike iOS, there is no option to enable messages with the preview hidden.

3rd Block People

Scary messages come in many forms, from annoying prompts wasting your time, to utterly frightening threats that can ruin your day. Fortunately, WhatsApp allows you to block unwanted people from further sending you shocking messages to keep your privacy, not to mention sanity, relatively intact.

  WhatsApp> Individual chat>
Contact name / number> Block contact 

Follow the above menu to block a contact on iOS. 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 actual conversation page for you to press.

  WhatsApp> Individual chat>
Contact name / number> Menu button>
More> Block 

Block a contact on Android requires some steps, so be sure to follow the above menu to complete the process. Like iOS, you can immediately block a sender directly from the conversation page if the person is not in your contact list.

Picture of Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks

] 4. Limit Visibility

WhatsApp allows you to control your online presence in the app and set your visibility In accordance with your personal preferences, you should be comfortable with your privacy.

  iOS: WhatsApp> Settings>
Account> Privacy

Android: WhatsApp> Menu button>
Settings> Account> Privacy 

Open the above menu corresponding to your platform. From there, you can set your online visibility for the following:

  • "Last seen" shows other people the last time you used WhatsApp. Set this to either "My Contacts" or "None", depending on how private you want to stay. Remember to choose later will also disable your ability to display the status of others Last viewed .
  • With "Profile photo" others can see your WhatsApp profile picture. Of course, you want to set this to either "My Contacts" or "None" to prevent complete strangers from knowing your appearance.
  • By default, the "About" section of your profile is set to "Hi there! I use Whatsapp," but you can personalize it to show off your personality and interests at a glance. Enter this to either "My Contacts" or "None", depending on your comfort level.
  • Depending on what you want to share, your WhatsApp status may send intimate details about you, from knowing your current whereabouts. You can limit the exposure by selecting "My Contacts Except" to maintain specific contacts to see your status or "Share Only" to limit the visibility of only the contacts you choose. Check out our guide below for more information on this topic.

5th Read messages without letting the sender know

WhatsApp uses a brilliant feature to let you know if someone has read your message. These simple read receipts come in the form of a pair of blue check markers to denote their read status. But what goes around comes, because others can also see if you have read their messages.

  iOS: WhatsApp> Settings>
Account> Privacy> Read receipts

Android: WhatsApp> Menu button>
Settings> Account> Privacy> Read Receipts 

There are many solutions that you can use to view WhatsApp messages without warning the sender, the easiest that can be accessed with the menu above. Just keep in mind that if you select the route described above, you will no longer be able to be alerted via read receipts for messages you send. It is also worth noting that the function will still work within group chats.

Apart from that, the other methods you can use to smoothly read messages can not only work for both individual and group chats, but also leave the read receipt feature intact so you can still see if your messages have been read. These solutions mean that you either go offline or use your phone's alerts, which we both have described in more detail in the guide below.

6th Hide Calls

For all chats you want to hide from prying eyes, WhatsApp allows you to archive conversations to keep them largely hidden. The process is extremely simple: press the link on the conversation thread you want to hide, then press "File" (the box with the arrow pointing down) from the taskbar at the top. You can view archived chats by scrolling all the way down the conversation list.

Pictures of Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks

7. Reply WhatsApp Group Chat Messages Privately

Thanks to WhatsApp Group chats it has never been easier to communicate with loved ones and colleagues a lot to coordinate meetings and events, discuss press issues or just chitch chat. However, the function can be a double-edged sword, because all messages you send will be there for everyone to read, which may not always be ideal, especially if you want to answer a certain person in the chat.

WhatsApp you have covered, and from version 2.18.380 the app has given you the opportunity to directly send a private response to a participant in the chat itself. This handy feature eliminates the need to start a separate private chat and works for both iPhones and Androids. Using the option varies slightly between the platforms, so be sure to read through the guide below to learn more about the process.

8. other participants for an extra set of eyes to ensure that your group chat stays on the message, there is an inherent danger in this, but as administrators you appoint also have the opportunity to change the chat's image and description, not to mention the possibility of inviting other people in your group chat, which may expose your chat to the completion of strangers. [FortunatelytheappgivesyouthepowertorevokeadministratorprivilegesfromparticipantswhoyouthinkmayleadtoTheprivacyofthechatiscompromisedbuttherevocationofthisaccessvariesbetweenAndroidandiOSdevicesbutbasicallyinvolvesenteringthe"GroupSettings"pagetoaccess"EditGroupAdministrators"andcontinuefromthereWaystoImprovePrivacyandSecurityonWhatsApp” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>
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Pictures of Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks

9. Delete Old Calls Quickly

It's always a good idea to routinely clear your WhatsApp chat logs. This not only protects extra space in the phone's storage, it also protects you from unwanted snooping from sneaky individuals to get some dirt on you. Fortunately, WhatsApp has taken you and removed data.

The process of deleting messages in batches is a little different for Android and iOS, but will essentially enter the "Edit" mode on the app's "Chat" page and continue from there to select and delete the chats you want to delete . If you want a detailed step-by-step guide covering the process, go to the article below. Ways to Improve Privacy and Security on WhatsApp ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

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Pictures of Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks

10. Hide WhatsApp images from your gallery App (Android)

By default, any photo or video you receive and loaded in WhatsApp is automatically stored in the phone's local storage. This can be problematic because media content from the app can now be easily viewed by anyone who enters your phone gallery app without permission. Fortunately, there is a feature found in the Android version of the app that can prevent this from happening. Ways to Improve Privacy and Security on WhatsApp ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

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Not Hidden (Left) vs. Hidden (Right). Pictures by Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

There are two options you can choose from, depending on which access level you want to give WhatsApp. We have covered this process in more detail in our guide on hiding WhatsApp's photos and videos from the gallery, so check it out to find out more about the process.

This article has been produced under the Gadget Hack's special coverage on smartphone privacy and security. Check out the entire privacy and security series.

Don't miss: Hide WhatsApp Photos and videos from your phone's default gallery

Cover by Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks