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Important WhatsApp Security and Privacy Tips

We have discussed various WhatsApp tips in the past, but let’s take a look at some important WhatsApp security tips that everyone should know about. Previously, we had SMS for sending text messages and keeping in touch with our friends family. That has been taken over by WhatsApp now, and it is no doubt one of the most used app on our phones.

WhatsApp helps you keep in touch with your contacts, and at the same time, it brings over some privacy and security concerns that every user should be aware of. We have compiled a list of some security tips that might help you to better lock down your WhatsApp from unknown contacts who might have your number saved in their phone.

WhatsApp Security Tips

Important WhatsApp Security Tips for Android, iOS and Windows

We love Android, but most of these tips are also applicable on other platforms like iOS and Windows. Make your WhatsApp more secure! A list of some of the best WhatsApp security tips are given below, and with time, we will updating this post for more of this tips.

1. Hide WhatsApp Pictures from Gallery/Photos

When you send pictures to anyone on WhatsApp, or you receive pictures from someone — it gets saved in a folder on your primary memory (internal or SD card). By default, these pictures are accessible and viewable by anyone who goes into your Gallery / Photos app. How to hide them? Follow these quick and easy steps:

  • Download a file manager app i.e ASTRO, ES File Manager or Cabinet Beta
  • Navigate to WhatsApp\Media\WhatsApp Images directory in your phone.
  • Create a new file “.nomedia” (without quotes) and save it.

Your WhatsApp pictures will not show up in your Gallery / Photos app anymore now.

2. Lock WhatsApp with Pattern Code

We are sure no one likes when someone else pokes around in your WhatsApp, reading your private messages. The better way is to completely lock your WhatsApp from anyone trying to access it — other than you. We have two different methods to do this. Unfortunately, WhatsApp doesn’t provide a feature/option to lock the app itself, but we can use third-party apps to do this.

lock-whatsapp-locx

If you own an Android phone with a fingerprint scanner, you can lock WhatsApp with FingerSecurity. or you cna use any of the countless app locking apps in the Google Play Store i.e. AppLock, LOCX. The screenshot above is from the LOCX app. We locked WhatsApp using that and it now asks for our pattern design to unlock the app. You can unlock any app with LOCX — and as a plus, it has a beautiful design (Material Design).

3. Hide Last Seen Time from Other Contacts

whatsapp-last-seen-hide

The “Last Seen” time stamp can be an issue for many — mostly with busy people who do not like to reply instantly and wait till they get some free time. This is also useful for those who do not want others to see how often they are online on WhatsApp or when did they last use it. How to disable it? Follow the steps below.

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Settings
  2. Tap Accounts
  3. Then go to Privacy
  4. Tap “Last seen” and select “Nobody” (as shown above in the screenshot)

4. Hide Blue Ticks (Read Receipts) in WhatsApp

disable-read-receipts-whatsapp

This is another way to take control of your privacy in WhatsApp. Whenever you open a message that you have received in WhatsApp, the other person gets notified with two blue ticks, also known as read receipts. Many users do not want others to know when they read a message. Luckily, WhatsApp has a built-in feature to disable this for your account/phone.

  • Open WhatsApp and go to Settings
  • Tap Accounts
  • Then go to Privacy
  • Uncheck the option “Read receipts” (as shown above in the screenshot)

5. Hide WhatsApp Profile Photos from Unknown Contacts

WhatsApp profile photos are public by default, and anyone with your number can easily check/access it from his or her phone. You do not want anyone to see it? Not an issue, you can simply hide it from the given feature/option inside the WhatsApp app as show below.

hide-whatsapp-profile-photo

Where to find this option? Follow these quick easy steps given below:

  • Open WhatsApp and go to Settings
  • Tap Accounts
  • Then go to Privacy
  • Tap “Profile photo” and select “Nobody” (as shown above in the screenshot)

6. Backup WhatsApp Conversations

For a power user who does most of his communication over WhatsApp, it is good to make backup copies of your conversations. WhatsApp does it automatically in your phone every night at 4am by default, but it is even better to transfer out the same backup files to your computer when switching Android phones.

In a newly announced feature, you can now even backup and email WhatsApp conversations over to Google Drive. For more information on how to backup WhatsApp messages, read the post below:

7. Use Official WhatsApp Web or Desktop Apps

WhatsApp is not just accessible from your phone anymore. You can now chat with your contacts using the official web app called WhatsApp Web and their desktop apps. There have been a few third-party WhatsApp apps available for various platforms, but it is always and strictly recommended to only use the official apps.

Read more about WhatsApp Web: How to Use WhatsApp Web with Android App.

8. Update Privacy for WhatsApp Status (Stories)

WhatsApp Status Privacy

In a recent update, WhatsApp has brought the new Status feature to the app which is very similar to how we have seen the Stories feature in Snapchat or Instagram. Users can post updates as pictures or videos which will stay up online for 24 hours and then disappear.

Unlike other platforms, anyone with your number can start viewing your Status updates. This calls for a quick privacy check on your phone for who can view your Status posts and who should not. You can select all your contacts to be able to view them or you can select a group of people that you want.

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Swipe to Status screen.
  • Tap the three dots on the top right and select Status settings

You can change your privacy settings for Status from here.

Any more tips to secure WhatsApp you can think of? Or is there any other way that you use? Share your WhatsApp tips below in the comments and we’ll be glad to include them into this list.

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Haris Nadeem
Haris lives on everything Android; has countless devices, apps and games to play with everyday. Currently serving as the Chief Editor at Team Android.
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