Here’s How You Can Use WhatsApp’s Top 5 Privacy Features

Here’s How You Can Use WhatsApp’s Top 5 Privacy Features

WhatsApp is a popular instant messaging service with over 2 billion active international users and over 100 billion messages sent daily. The instant messenger, which is ranked as one of the most popular messaging applications, has gained over a billion new users in the last four years.
WhatsApp, like other apps, needs to protect its users’ privacy and security.

By default, the privacy settings are as follows:

  • Anyone can see your last seen, profile photo, about, and read receipts.
  • Allow everyone in your contacts to see your status updates.
  • Any user can add you to a group.

These capabilities are easily customizable in the in-app settings of both the mobile and desktop versions of WhatsApp.


1. Last Seen

The Last Seen feature displays the last time a person viewed a message on WhatsApp. It provides users with three options: conceal it from everyone, your contacts, or no one.

You can update your Last Seen privacy settings by following these steps:

Android: Tap the Three-dot Menu > Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen

iPhone: Tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen

Desktop: Tap the Three-dot Menu > Settings > Privacy > Last Seen

2. Read Receipts

When a message is delivered or received using WhatsApp, tick marks show next to it, signifying several meanings:

  • Single grey tick: The message has been sent
  • Double grey tick: the message was successfully received by the recipient
  • Double blue tick: the message has been read by the recipient

When all of the participants in a group chat have successfully read the message, the two blue check marks appear.

Individual messages can be checked for facts such as when they were delivered, read, and by whom. To check the status of a certain communication

  1. Open a chat
  2. Tap and hold a sent message
  3. Tap on the info icon

It is worth noting that WhatsApp does not allow users to disable read receipts for voice messages or group chats.

How to Turn Read Receipts ON or OFF

To disable read receipts, take the following steps

Android: Tap the three-dot menu > Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts

iPhone: Tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Toggle the Read Receipts Button

Desktop: Tap the three-dot menu > Settings > Privacy > Read Receipts

3. Two-Step Verification for an Added Layer of Security

Two-step verification is an optional feature for WhatsApp that adds an extra layer of protection. To use the function, you must first authenticate your account with a custom-set PIN. if you want to add your phone number to a WhatsApp account.

How to Enable Two-Step Verification

  1. Open WhatsApp settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-Step Verification > Enable.
  3. Enter a random six-digit PIN of your choice.
  4. You can choose to enter your email address in case you would like to reset two-step verification some time in the future or you can simply skip this step.
  5. Tap NEXT.
  6. Verify and confirm your email address.
  7. Tap SAVE or DONE.

If you do not want to add an email address and you forget your PIN, you will have to wait 7 days before you may reset it.

How to Disable Two-Step Verification

If you want to disable Two-Step Verification on your account, follow these steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-Step Verification > Disable

How to Change your Two-Step Verification PIN

  1. Open WhatsApp settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-Step Verification > Change PIN.

How to Change or Add Email Address

If you decide to add your email address:

  1. Open WhatsApp settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-Step Verification > Add Email Address.

If you wish to change your email address:

  1. Open WhatsApp settings.
  2. Tap Account > Two-Step Verification > Change Email Address.

4. View Once Messages

Following a recent update, WhatsApp now allows users to share photos and videos that vanish once opened. Users can now transmit photographs or movies that cannot be viewed again, forwarded, saved, shared, or starred in the latest version of instant messaging.

View Messages expire 14 days after they are received if they are not opened by the receiver.

View Once communications can only be viewed if the recipient has opened the photo or video and has read receipts enabled. For such messages, another individual can still grab screenshots or screen record the material OR take a photo or video from another device.

Recipients can provide feedback. View Once media, in which case the media is sent to WhatsApp for additional analysis.

How to Send a View Once Message

To send a photo or video that can only be viewed once, use the following format:

  1. Open an individual or group chat.
  2. Tap on the + icon on the bottom left.
  3. Select Photo & Video Library.
  4. Tap on the photo or video that you would like to send.
  5. At the bottom right, tap on the icon, which turns blue when selected.

5. Screen Lock and Fingerprint Lock

Another extra security feature available for WhatsApp is the ability to unlock the application using Touch ID or Face ID.

The Screen Lock or Fingerprint lock offers an extra degree of protection to WhatsApp while still allowing you to respond to messages from the notification centre and receive and answer calls while the app is locked.

How to Enable Screen Lock

To enable Touch ID or Face ID on WhatsApp, the following permissions must be granted:

  1. Open WhatsApp settings.
  2. Tap Account > Privacy > Screen Lock.
  3. Turn on the Require Touch ID or Require Face ID feature.
  4. Select the time before Touch ID or Face ID is enabled.

How to Enable Fingerprint Lock

Touch ID works in the same way as Fingerprint Locks on certain devices. When this option is selected, you will be required to use your fingerprint to access the app.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap More Options.
  3. Tap Settings > Account > Privacy.
  4. Turn on Unlock with Fingerprint.
  5. Confirm your fingerprint by touching on the fingerprint sensor.
  6. You can tap to select the number of times before fingerprint authentication is prompted.

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