A Few Ways to Protect Your Privacy on WhatsApp

Woman showing a WhatsApp Messenger icon

You can take certain precautions to ensure your security and privacy when using WhatsApp, which is among the best instant messengers available. The end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp is already activated by default, so this is an extra layer of security.

Your messages will be encrypted so that they can only be deciphered by the intended recipient. Both voice and video calls are encrypted in the same way. But, you may increase the safety and privacy of your WhatsApp account by following these guidelines.

  1. Allow Vanishing Messages for Private Chats

Although WhatsApp automatically encrypts all discussions, there may be instances when you wish to guarantee that no record of your conversation will ever be accessible. This ensures that no one can listen in on your private discussions even if either your smartphone or the recipient’s device falls into the wrong hands.

WhatsApp has a feature called “disappearing messages” that deletes all sent and received messages when a certain amount of time has passed.

Disappearing messages can be enabled in a conversation by tapping the contact’s name at the top of the screen and selecting the option. Next, set a time limit beyond which the message will be permanently erased.

  1. Turn On Security Code Allowing To Change Notifications.

WhatsApp allows you to check if your conversations are encrypted end-to-end with a secret code. These codes can be seen in the contact information screen as either a QR code or a 60-digit number.

A fresh security code is produced for both phones whenever a new phone or computer joins an existing chat. When the verification code is updated, WhatsApp can alert you. In this approach, you and your friend can double-check the encryption using a different messaging service.

WhatsApp users can receive alerts whenever their security codes are updated by going to the app’s settings, then clicking “Account,” “Security,” and “Show security notifications.”

  1. Implement two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is the gold standard and should be used with any service that allows it (2FA). This provides an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access to your WhatsApp data by requiring a periodic passcode. WhatsApp’s two-factor authentication feature is available on all supported systems.

The two-factor authentication feature in WhatsApp lets you set up a six-digit PIN code that is simple to remember. Don’t forget to include your email address so you can get that code again if you lose it. WhatsApp offers random, periodic checks for the passcode, reminding you to enter it when you start the app, so you’re less likely to forget it. But that isn’t why we use two-factor authentication.

The point is to prevent unauthorized users, even if they have your phone number (like in a SIM swap scam), from accessing your WhatsApp account.

  1. Require a Fingerprint or Face Scan to Access WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s fingerprint or face lock is a clever extra security measure that may be taken to protect your messages. Even if you hand over your unlocked phone to a friend, they won’t be able to read your WhatsApp messages.

The caveat is that it works only with biometric authentication methods like a fingerprint or face scan. Hence, there is no method to password-protect the WhatsApp app. If you need to lock your device, you’ll have to download a separate app.

WhatsApp can be secured on Android by tapping the menu button (three dots), going to Settings, and then Privacy before activating Fingerprint lock and Unlock with fingerprint. After that, you’ll be prompted to add a fingerprint and given the option to set the inactivity time before WhatsApp locks itself.

  1. Encrypt Your Cloud Backups

WhatsApp backs up conversations to either Google Drive or iCloud, which is a huge drawback to the otherwise fantastic end-to-end encryption. That way, when you reinstall it in the future, all of your previous messages will still be there. Nevertheless, there is no default encryption on this backup.

Enabling end-to-end encryption for your WhatsApp backups is a must if you value your privacy. Keep in mind that it is possible that governments might still access your data even if you save it with Apple or Google.

To enable end-to-end encrypted backups on Android, open the chat settings by tapping the three dots in the upper right, then tap chat backup, and then press Turn on. Similarly, on an iPhone, tap the Settings icon, then Chats, then Chat Backup, and finally End-to-end encrypted backup, before tapping the Switch on button.

  1. Be Wary of Typical Scams

There are occasional frauds on WhatsApp because it is an instant messenger. You should be aware of some of the more common ones so you can avoid falling for them. WhatsApp can be hacked by socially engineered methods.

The most pervasive ones warn that your account is about to expire or promote an upgraded version of WhatsApp called “WhatsApp Gold.” No matter how it’s presented, the goal of the scam is the same: to get you to pay money for WhatsApp. It should go without saying, but never, ever, buy WhatsApp. The firm has stated unequivocally that WhatsApp would always be offered at no cost.

Learn about the most prevalent WhatsApp scams and how to identify and prevent WhatsApp spam.

7. Download the WhatsApp Web and Desktop Clients

You may use WhatsApp on your computer by downloading either the WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp desktop apps and connecting them to your phone. Use the official desktop app to play it safe. The internet as a whole is less strictly governed than the app stores for Android and iOS.

As a result, you may unwittingly visit malicious websites that pose as WhatsApp Web. Malicious software disguised as WhatsApp desktop programs has been distributed in the past by hackers. Both of these are typical WhatsApp security risks that you should be aware of.

You can avoid this by only using the official WhatsApp desktop clients. While there may be more feature-rich alternatives to WhatsApp’s official desktop client, you shouldn’t sacrifice safety for convenience.

WhatsApp for PC & Mac Available for Download (Free)


8. Modify Your WhatsApp Security Options

While WhatsApp isn’t the most secure messaging option, it does provide a measure of privacy for its users. To view your options, navigate to Settings > Account > Privacy.

The WhatsApp settings allow you to limit who can see your online and last seen statuses, profile picture, bio, current location, and status updates. You can modify who can add you to groups and turn off Read receipts (which removes the blue check marks) in this section. When you enable this function in a particular conversation, you can also use the Disappearing message timer to establish a default timer.

There is no suggestion; do what you think is best.

How to Make WhatsApp Safer and More Private

Despite its many security enhancements, WhatsApp is not foolproof. You can find alternative messaging apps that prioritize security. WhatsApp’s security measures aren’t bulletproof, but they should be adequate for the vast majority of users.

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