WhatsApp stands as one of the most widely used instant messaging platforms globally. Despite its inherent security features, taking extra steps to bolster your privacy is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into 8 practical tips to make WhatsApp enhanced more secure and private.
WhatsApp’s default end-to-end encryption ensures that your messages, voice calls, and video calls are secure. However, there are additional measures you can implement to fortify your privacy.
8 Tips to Make WhatsApp More Secure and Private
1. Enable Disappearing Messages for Sensitive Conversations
WhatsApp’s default encryption is robust, but there are instances where you might want an extra layer of privacy.
The disappearing messages feature automatically deletes messages after a specific period, ensuring that no trace of your sensitive conversations remains.
To activate this feature, tap on the contact’s name, select “Disappearing messages,” and choose a deletion period.
This is particularly useful to safeguard your conversations in case your device or the recipient’s device falls into the wrong hands.
2. Turn On Security Code Change Notifications
Verifying the end-to-end encryption of your chats is crucial. In the contact info screen, you can find security codes as a QR code or a 60-digit number.
WhatsApp can notify you when a security code changes, providing an additional layer of security.
To enable this feature, navigate to WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Security > Show security notifications.
This ensures that you’re aware of any changes in encryption, allowing you to confirm the security of your communication with your contacts.
3. Enable Two-Step Verification
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra shield to your WhatsApp account. By creating a six-digit PIN, you add an additional layer of security, especially in scenarios like SIM swap scams.
WhatsApp prompts you periodically to enter the passcode, reducing the chances of unauthorized access.
To enable 2FA, go to WhatsApp settings and select the two-step verification option, creating a unique PIN and associating an email address for recovery.
4. Lock WhatsApp With Fingerprint or Face Verification
To further secure your messages, take advantage of the fingerprint or face verification feature.
This ensures that only you can access your WhatsApp, even if your device is shared.
On Android, access this feature through Settings > Privacy > Fingerprint lock, and on iOS, go to Settings > Privacy > Screen Lock. By adding this layer of biometric security, you enhance the overall privacy of your WhatsApp conversations.
5. Encrypt Cloud Backups
While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is comprehensive, there’s a potential vulnerability in cloud backups.
WhatsApp backs up chats to Google Drive or iCloud, but these backups are not encrypted by default.
To ensure end-to-end encryption for your backups, navigate to Settings > Chats > Chat backup > End-to-end encrypted backup and turn it on.
This step adds an extra layer of security, especially for users concerned about potential eavesdropping by external entities.
6. Beware of Common Scams
WhatsApp is not immune to scams, and being aware of common ones is essential. Scams like “WhatsApp Gold” or fake account expiration alerts may attempt to trick users into paying for what is inherently a free service.
Stay vigilant and recognize socially engineered attacks. Remember, WhatsApp has explicitly stated that its services will always be free, making any request for payment a clear indicator of a scam.
7. Get the Official WhatsApp Desktop Apps
Using WhatsApp on your computer involves linking your phone with WhatsApp Web or desktop apps.
To avoid potential security threats, opt for the official desktop app. Unregulated sources on the internet may lead to malicious websites or fake WhatsApp desktop apps.
By choosing the official client, you minimize the risk of falling victim to security threats associated with unofficial sources.
8. Adjust Your WhatsApp Privacy Settings
WhatsApp provides users with some control over their privacy settings. Navigate to Settings > Account > Privacy to customize who can see your Last Seen, online status, profile photo, About, Status, and Live location.
Additionally, you can turn off Read Receipts and manage group invitation settings. The Disappearing message timer allows you to set a default timer when enabling the feature in a specific chat.
Choose settings that align with your preferences and enhance your overall privacy.
While WhatsApp offers robust security features, implementing these 8 tips will help you make WhatsApp more secure and private.
No platform is entirely foolproof, but by taking these measures, you can enjoy a more secure messaging experience on WhatsApp.
Stay informed, be vigilant against scams, and leverage the available privacy settings to tailor your WhatsApp experience according to your preferences.