Welcome to the home of the best How-to guides for your WhatsApp needs. In today’s article, I will show you 10 settings that you must activate in WhatsApp if you want to improve your security and privacy.
Millions of people trust WhatsApp every day by using the application to hold private conversations in which they exchange personal information. To gain that trust, the communication platform progressively improves its functions, especially those related to privacy and security.
WhatsApp has several tools with which you can protect your account, although some are more unknown than others. We are going to change this ignorance in this article explaining what are the 10 adjustments that you must already establish in the app to be 100% secure.
10 adjustments to improve your security and privacy in WhatsApp
1. Block the most annoying users
Having the phone number of a person with WhatsApp already allows you to open a conversation with it. However, if you receive messages from a user you do not want to chat with, you can always use the blocking function. From that moment, you will not receive messages from that contact nor will he be able to see your profile information or your status updates.
To block a contact, you must enter the individual conversation you have with him and click on the menu button in the upper right corner. Next, go to More> Block> Block and the contact will be blocked. You can also do it from the menu button of the chat tab> Settings> Account> Privacy> Blocked contacts> Add contact.
2. Privatize the notifications to the maximum
Notifications are a good tool for reading WhatsApp messages without opening the app. However, just like you can see the content of the messages, so can other people who look at your phone’s lock screen. For this reason, it is best to privatize notifications to the fullest.
To do this, go to Menu> Settings> Notifications and you will find the option Pop-up notification, both in the Messages section and in Groups. There you can choose between Never show popup, Only with the screen “on”, Only with the screen “off” and always show the popup. Your privacy will always be guaranteed with the first one, so it is advisable to never show pop-up notifications.
3. Hide your conversations without getting rid of them
The WhatsApp chat tab is perhaps too public to have important conversations there, but you don’t need to delete them if you want to protect the information you’ve exchanged with other users. For those cases, WhatsApp allows you to hide your chats using the Archive function.
Select the conversation you want to hide and a top bar will appear on the screen where you must click on the drawer icon with the down arrow to the right of the sound function. You only need that so that the conversation is archived and disappears from the chat tab.
That chat will not be deleted but will be stored in archived chats, a section that you can access from the end of the chat tab. Just by sending a new message in the archived conversation, it will return to the main screen and will no longer be hidden.
4. Take advantage of two-step verification
“It’s never too late if the happiness is good”, they had to think about WhatsApp when introducing the verification in two steps at the beginning of 2017, something later than expected. Although it seems an unnecessary measure, the truth is that you should activate this verification in two factors to make it more complicated to impersonate you.
It won’t take you any time, you just have to enter Menu> Settings> Account> Verification in two steps. There you will have to enter the six-digit code that you want to set as a password and add an email account to be able to reset that PIN if you forget it. That will be the number that WhatsApp will ask you from time to time and when you try to enter your account from another device.
5. Delete old conversations
If you don’t worry about routinely deleting past WhatsApp conversations, not only will you lose storage space, you will also risk being able to cause problems if someone who shouldn’t see them sees them. For this reason, it is best that you periodically do a cleaning to eliminate those old conversations that no longer serve you.
6. Respond privately to group messages
When you have a conversation with another person in a group, you risk that the rest of the participants can read the messages. Before WhatsApp offered the possibility of writing privately to the other person, although in 2019 has added a very interesting feature that allows you to respond privately to a message received in a group.
To carry out this process you have to press the message you want to respond to and click on the options menu in the upper right corner. That’s where the Reply in private function appears, which will take you to the individual chat with the other contact also transferring the message you want to reply to.
7. Limit visible information
WhatsApp offers you a series of settings so that you can manage the private information you show to others as you like. Through Menu> Settings> Account> Privacy, you can select who can see your personal data, such as the time of the last connection, the profile photo, your status or the text you enter in the information section.
In addition, you can also activate read confirmations and share your location in real-time with other contacts. Take advantage of all these settings to limit the visible information of your account, establishing that it is only your contacts, the closest ones, those who can see this data.
8. Override the permissions of other group administrators
The possibility of converting other contacts into administrators of a group is a great advantage when using the app, but it can also lead to problems. These can add other unwanted members to the conversation, change the name and profile photo of the group or delete the participants.
Fortunately, WhatsApp left an open door to solve the mess in case you ever regret turning others into administrators. Entering the group settings, you will find an option called “Designate admins. of the group”. From there you can give power to other users, but also take it off when you need it.
9. Read messages without the sender knowing
Enabling read receipts means that the other member of the conversation can complain that you have read the messages without answering them. Therefore, it is best to deactivate that box and be able to use the app without others knowing if you have seen their messages or not.
In addition, you have 4 other methods to read and respond to WhatsApp messages without having to open the app. In this way, you will be able to see the content that is sent to you by the platform without having to give explanations to anyone.
10. Hide WhatsApp photos in the gallery
If you have activated the automatic download of multimedia files in WhatsApp, they appear in the gallery of your mobile phone and anyone who has access to it can see them. Fortunately, the app has a very useful function with which you can prevent WhatsApp files from appearing in your gallery.
Through Menu> Settings> Chats, you can find Multimedia file visibility, a box that you only have to disable so that the last recently downloaded files are not shown in the gallery of the device. In this way, you protect yourself from possible curious eyes.
These are the 10 settings that you can activate without any complexity in WhatsApp so that your account (and everything you share in it) stands out for its security and privacy. Also, do not forget to put into practice other tips to make your use of the app more secure.
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