WhatsApp is a great app. It is fast, easy to use and a convenient to stay in touch with people now that almost everyone uses it.
But of late, WhatsApp has added a number of features that makes it a privacy risk. If you are not careful, it is even easy to figure out your daily moment and activity from the information that is displayed on your WhatsApp profile. In some cases, a person doesn’t even have to chat with you. All he or she needs to stalk to you is your phone number.
So how do you ward off the stalkers and weirdos or just plain irritants? Well, there are some very simple steps:
— Start blocking people: We are sure you already know this but it is worth repeating: block numbers of people who are irritating you. To block a contact, open the chat window for that particular contact, tap on the “three dots” on the top right, select “more” and select “block”. If you think the person deserves forgiveness, you can unblock him or her later.
— Hide you profile photo: On WhatsApp anyone can see your profile photo. To change this click on the “three dots” in the main WhatsApp window and select “settings”. In the next window, select “account” and then “privacy”.
In the section “Who can see my personal info”, select “Profile photo” and set the setting to “Nobody” if you are really paranoid or annoyed at strangers complimenting you, or “my contacts” if you don’t mind some of your friends seeing your profile photo from time to time.
— Turn off last seen: Hiding “last seen” is one single biggest step you can take to safeguard your privacy on WhatsApp. In the same, “Who can see my personal info”, select “Last seen” and then choose the option that you want.
— Similarly, you can also hide status message from strangers or from everyone. Though if you want to hide it from everyone, you can just use a blank status message. That will do the same thing.
— Turn off Blue Ticks: A few months ago, WhatsApp added this read receipt feature which shows a user when the message has been read by turning the two grey ticks to blue. While it is a useful feature, it also takes away a bit of freedom you have in how and when you respond to messages from others. Once you have seen a message and once the sender of that message knows it, there is an obvious pressure on you to respond.
To turn off the Blue Ticks feature, go to section “Messaging” in the Privacy window. Clear the “Read receipt” selection or in other words uncheck it.
What if you are using an iPhone
The above mentioned tips are for WhatsApp on Android. But what if you are using it on an iPhone? Well, in that case you can access the privacy settings by clicking on the gearwheel placed on the bottom right of the WhatsApp window.
However, on iPhone it seems WhatsApp doesn’t allow turning off the blue ticks. It can be done but then for that you have to “jailbreak” the iPhone. But you can change other settings.