By reading through this guide, I can explain how you can be doing more to protect your privacy through WhatsApp on both your iPhone or Android devices.
Hi, it is your good friend Frankie here to help again. Today I want to talk to you about steps that you can take to better protect your privacy while using WhatsApp on your smartphones.
You might not know it, but WhatsApp has numerous settings available to increase the security and privacy of your account. You can set visibility, block contacts, change status, modify a profile picture, and more. This guide can show you all you need to know to change these settings to make the app safer.
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Before we get deep into it, I think I should tell you a story.
A few months back, I was watching a movie on Netflix called “Perfect Strangers”. This has been successful given its mirroring of human relationships and unfaithfulness, highlighting people’s inability to use smartphone’s while adopting security measures.
So in turn, the protagonists of the movie barely do anything to hide messages and calls from their affairs, having an undeniable naivety about their affairs.
If this were actually two people that loved one another, they would not continually check the other’s phone for incoming messages. However, living with someone presents many opportunities for your spouse to accidently read or see incoming messages to WhatsApp or Messenger.
You have to think about the consequences for a situation like this in real life – your partner might never trust you again, you could begin fighting constantly, or it could be the end of a marriage.
I have found it flooring to have learned that almost 90% of extramarital affairs get discovered because of messages read by the partner. With apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, this is not hard to do. Another damning piece of evidence is media left on the device such as photos and videos.
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I will always agree that love is a serious matter, but its undeniable that some playful flirting with a new colleague or an actual affair are things that could happen to anyone. What matters is not getting caught. This happens by taking the right precautions to avoid endangering your stable relationship.
Let’s get started!
8 Tricks for Protecting Your Privacy with WhatsApp Privacy Settings
Here are some options you can tweak to enhance the WhatsApp privacy levels.
1. WhatsApp Web – Logout Your Account from All Computers
You might already know this, but WhatsApp enables users to access this famous instant messaging service on the web too. All you need to do is scan the QR code with a smartphone, that’s it.
The main concern here is if you forget to log out of this service. This is a costly oversight for someone with conversations and content to hide. If you use your home computer or a public one, or if you accessed by another device. Staying logged in, anyone could access your data.
In these cases, the first thing that you should do is open up the app from your smartphone and access “WhatsApp Web” and click on the option to log out on every computer.
I chose to start with this trick because WhatsApp Web has claimed many victims from those leaving their accounts signed in and leaving. You cannot forget to log out of your account on a computer, no matter how great of a rush you might be in.
2. Enabling Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification is a security tool that is becoming more and more common as time goes by. It prevents someone from accessing your account through inputting your phone number.
You might have forgotten, but when you activate WhatsApp on your phone, a code gets sent to you via SMS. If anyone intercepts this code, it could endanger your data.
Two-step verification is an added security measure that requires you to not only enter this verification code sent from the WhatsApp account, but also to input a user-created PIN you set up during the configuration of this feature. Without knowing the 6-digit PIN, you cannot access the account.
If you wish to enable this feature, you can go to your Settings menu and choose Account. From here you can select Two-Step Authentication and then Enable. You are now prompted to generate the 6-digit code that must get inputted in logins from other devices and enter a recovery email in the event that you forget the PIN.
I won’t dwell on this too much, as I have already written a guide on enabling this feature for both iPhone and Android users – How to Enable Two-Step Verification and Increase Your Account’s Security Level.
You should know that spyware like mSpy can circumvent two-step verification steps. If the person spying on you can then access iCloud (iPhone) or Android’s root menu, they have the information there for the taking. If you want to understand more about how mSpy can access secret functions and information, check out How to Spy on WhatsApp.
3. Hide ‘Last Seen’ Information
It is almost always a better idea not to let anyone know the last time that you had logged into your account. WhatsApp settings allow you to hide this information.
To accomplish this, you need to open up WhatsApp. Then, you can open up Settings > Profile > Account > Privacy > Last Seen > Nobody. Whether you are using an Android or an iPhone, the process works the same.
If you disable this option, do so with the understanding that you cannot view last online information for anyone else, either. In my opinion, this is a small price to pay for the security that throttling this information provides.
4. Hide Your Profile Picture
We often expect that the photos we put on social networks stay only with the friends and family in our contacts, but that is never the case. Without changing specific privacy settings, these images, videos, and audio can all get viewed and downloaded by almost anyone.
This premise applies to WhatsApp as well. If you do not want anyone and everyone getting their hands on your profile picture, for instance, you need to keep them from accessing your photos.
How do you do this? From the app settings, you start by accessing you Account and choosing Privacy. In the menu that follows, you can click on Profile Picture and then select that only your contacts can view it.
If you want to know more I suggest you read my guide how to hide WhatsApp profile picture from a certain contact.
You can also set this profile picture viewing option to no one. In this case, no one is able to see your profile image. While this might seem drastic, it can sometimes be helpful.
5. Lock WhatsApp with a Password
There are applications, both for iPhone or Android devices, that enable you to set security codes before accessing specific apps.
This is a useful system when, for example, we would let someone else use our phone. If you have something that you need to keep hidden from your spouse or partner, this is a good security measure when you cannot stop them from accessing your phone.
If you check out my guide How to Lock WhatsApp with a Password, you can learn about the best apps to do this.
If someone notices that you have locked WhatsApp, they might get suspicious. You should think of an excuse for this ahead of time to stay prepared. Plausible justification might be that you did it because you don’t want your colleagues to prank you by accessing your WhatsApp account.
6. Stop Saving WhatsApp Media to Your Phone
You need to cease photo storage, both incoming and outgoing, in the image gallery of your phone.
It is an easy issue to resolve, and could be an effective precaution against the ‘busybodies’.
I wrote an article to give you more information that can explain this procedure, How to Stop Saving WhatsApp Photos to Your Gallery.
You are not just keeping your phone’s storage levels at a lower level, but you are also preventing your phone from automatically storing sensitive images and videos.
This is actually a special focus. There are many dangers lurking on WhatsApp.
Often, hackers utilize text links for users to open. While in many situations, this could be a phishing concern, it could also lead to malware and viruses.
Do not click on things that sound too good to be true or seem out of place. Suspicious links from other users are almost always something nefarious.
8. Ask To Have Your Account Deleted
If you have reached a point where account deletion is necessary, it is because you have misplaced your phone or someone has stolen it from you.
In these instances, it is recommended to deactivate your WhatsApp profile. You have to send an email to the company to accomplish this. The message should get addressed to [email protected] with the subject line:
Lost/Stolen: Deactivation of My Account
You should include your phone number in the email. Remember – enter the number fully with your international (country code) and then the phone number. For example: 0039 33862887268
Most smartphones can get blocked to become virtually useless if stolen these days. There are some that know how to get around these blocks. You should protect your account and other contacts you might have by requesting account deletion.
WhatsApp, according to its website, boasts being one of the safest messaging applications because of its end to end encryption. I would discourage you from trusting this security measure too much, however.
There are numerous spy apps on the market now that can access WhatsApp chats in a matter of a few clicks.
You can make life difficult (if not entirely impossible) for those wishing to read WhatsApp conversations. With this peace of mind, you can continue any extramarital affair you so desire without your partner finding out from WhatsApp.
Before I say goodbye, here is a short summation of the WhatsApp settings to secure your account and information:
- Logout of WhatsApp Web on all computers
- Enable two-step authentication
- Hide ‘Last Seen’ times
- Hide profile picture
- Lock WhatsApp with a password
- Stop automatically saving and storing WhatsApp media
- Avoid suspicious links
- Ask for account deletions
If you have any questions or doubts, you can always reach me in the comment section below. I will get back with you as quickly as I can.
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