8 Tips to Make WhatsApp More Secure and Private.

1. Check Encryption for Sensitive Conversations

Even though WhatsApp encrypts all chats by default, sometimes you want to double-check. It’s good practice to do that while sharing sensitive information like a credit card number with a trusted contact.

To verify the encryption, start a conversation with that contact. In the chat window, tap the contact’s name, and then tap Encryption

2. Turn On Security Notifications

When a new phone or laptop accesses an existing chat, a new security code is generated for both phones. And WhatsApp can send a notification when the security code changes. This way, you can check the encryption with your friend over a different messenger, ensuring its security. To turn on security notifications, go to WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Security > Show security notifications and flip the toggle to green, as pictured above.

3. Enable Two-Step Verification

If a service supports it, you should be using two factor authentication (2FA). This adds a periodic passcode to WhatsApp, and also ensures your data isn’t accessed by someone else.

To activate 2FA, go to Menu > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Follow the steps to create a six-digit PIN code that you can easily remember. Importantly, add your email address to retrieve that code in case you forget it.

4. You Can’t Password Protect WhatsApp

Unfortunately, there’s no way to lock WhatsApp with a password. WhatsApp has said so explicitly and recommends using a third-party locking app for it on Android.

On iPhones, there is simply no way to password-protect WhatsApp. Apple doesn’t allow it, whether with a passcode or Touch ID.

5. Disable Cloud Backups (If You Care About Privacy)

The end-to-end encryption is awesome, but there’s one loophole: WhatsApp backs up chats to Google Drive or iCloud. That way, if you reinstall it later, you can retrieve your old messages. But this backup isn’t encrypted.

So if you really care about your privacy, then that’s something you need to disable. Remember, storing your data with Apple and Google might not protect you against eavesdropping by governments.

To disable automatic cloud backups:

  • On iPhone: Go to WhatsApp > Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Auto Backup > Off
  • On Android: Go to WhatsApp > Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Backup to Google Drive > Never.

6. Beware of Common Scams

Since it’s an instant messenger, you might get some scams on WhatsApp periodically. You need to know some of the popular ones and not fall for them. Socially engineered attacks are one way your WhatsApp messages can be hacked.

7. Get the Official WhatsApp Desktop Apps

To use WhatsApp on your computer, you need to sync your phone with either WhatsApp Web or the WhatsApp desktop apps. To be on the safe side, get the official desktop app.

8. Protect Your Privacy on WhatsApp

WhatsApp isn’t the most private messenger out there, but it gives users at least some control. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy to see everything at your disposal.

You can control who can see your Last Seen, profile photo, about, status, and live location. You can also turn off Read Receipts here, so the blue check marks are switched off

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