WhatsApp chats can be quite irritating at times, especially for women. Whether it’s acquaintances or the delivery guy at the local grocery store, anyone who has your phone number can start pinging WhatsApp. While easy access can be a convenience, it can soon become a nuisance if your phone number falls into the wrong hands. On this International Women’s Day, WhatsApp is reminding users of some lesser-known safety features that can help women stay safe and avoid harassment. Here are 7 safety tips for you.
Enable disappearing messages on WhatsApp
When message disappearance is activated, new messages sent to a chat disappear after 7 days. When this feature is activated, you can chat peacefully considering that conversations are not permanent.
Get the device link security update to make sure someone else doesn’t see your WhatsApp chats
WhatsApp has added an extra layer of protection when you want to link your WhatsApp account to your computer. To link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your WhatsApp account, you will be asked to use your face unlock or fingerprint unlock on your phone, before scanning a QR code from the phone to link your device. With this feature, you will receive a pop-up notice whenever a web / desktop connection occurs, ensuring that someone else does not see your WhatsApp chats.
Enable two-step verification to prevent WhatsApp account hacking
It is always advisable to enable two-step verification as it adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a six-digit PIN code when resetting and verifying the WhatsApp account. With this, you can prevent access to your WhatsApp account in case of SIM card theft or phone number compromise. Setting up two-step verification is straightforward. Just open WhatsApp> Settings> Account> Two-step verification> Activate.
Remember to block users you no longer want to chat with on WhatsApp
When a user blocks another, they can no longer see the last time or if the contact is online. The best part is that they can’t see updates to a contact’s profile picture. All messages sent to a contact who has blocked you will always show a check mark (message sent), and never a second check (message delivered) and no calls will go through.
Lock your WhatsApp account with Touch ID or Face ID
WhatsApp also offers its users the ability to add an extra layer of security to their accounts with Touch ID and Face ID for iPhone, and fingerprint lock for Android. You can also decide if you want WhatsApp to automatically lock you out of the app as soon as you close the app, or after different durations of inactivity. Just open WhatsApp settings. Tap Account> Privacy> Screen lock. Turn on Require Touch ID or Require Face ID, then select how long WhatsApp can be in sleep mode before Touch ID or Face ID is required.
Enable WhatsApp group chat privacy settings
The group privacy setting allows you to control who adds you to a WhatsApp group, allowing you to choose which group chats you want to be a part of. To activate it, go to Settings in your app, then tap Account> Privacy> Groups and select one of the following three options: “Everyone”, “My contacts” or “My contacts except”. “My Contacts” means that only users you have in your address book can add you to groups, and “My Contacts except” provides additional control over who among your contacts can add you to a group. Women can now avoid being in unknown groups, with this feature enabled.
Report messages as spam if you are disturbed by repeated texts on WhatsApp
It is possible for other WhatsApp users who have your phone number to contact you. In case of spam or repeated texts, WhatsApp always advises users to block the sender, ignore the message and delete it.