Almost everyone on your phone’s contact list can find you in the app, so your privacy is at risk
In its beginnings, Whatsapp It seemed like just another chat app, but over the years it has grown into a social media platform in its own right. From sharing status messages to chats and group calls, WhatsApp can do a lot of things. But the problem with WhatsApp is that there is no concept of sending friend requests first.
There is a concrete fact: almost everyone on your phone’s contact list can find you on WhatsApp, so protecting your privacy can be a bit tricky. Here are 8 mistakes you should stop making on WhatsApp right now.
1. Don’t welcome everyone to your account
Eliminate irrelevant people from your contact list or block them. Take some time even once a month to clean up your contact list and delete the phone numbers of people you are no longer in contact with.
If you think it may require your contact number at some point, block these irrelevant numbers on WhatsApp at least. It doesn’t make much sense that your ex boss find you on WhatsApp.
2. Make sure your profile picture doesn’t reveal too much
It is a good idea to keep a simple profile picture. Make sure your profile picture doesn’t reveal too much information about your family members. This is important because everyone on your contact list can see your WhatsApp profile picture. However, there are three privacy options as to who can see your profile picture:
- Everyone (which means all WhatsApp users).
- My contacts (people in your contact list).
- No one (this is as good as not adding any photos).
But there is no option to hide your photo from selected contacts.
3. Add 2-Step Verification to protect your account
This will prevent you from being a victim of sim card exchange fraud. Also, it will not allow others to set up your WhatsApp account on another phone. Find the settings and add “two-step verification” to prevent someone else from locking your account and using your WhatsApp account on another device without your knowledge.
4. Don’t share your status messages in public with everyone
Status messages are private and are intended to be shared with your friends, family members and not with a taxi driver or a domestic worker. Make sure to use your privacy settings correctly to prevent unnecessary people from seeing your status messages.
5. Don’t let everyone add you to groups
There is an option to restrict who can add you to group messages. The privacy settings are:
- Everyone (Anyone on WhatsApp can add you to a group).
- My contacts (Only people on your contact list can add you to groups.)
- My contacts except (This option allows you to select who can add you to a group.
It is always a good idea not to allow any random person to add you to any group chat.
6. Disable the option to add all media files to your phone’s gallery
This is another critical setting that you should be careful with. Remember that all those photos and videos WhatsApp apps consume your phone’s internal storage when saved to gallery.
Therefore, unless you explicitly want all of those silly pictures of “good morning” appear in your gallery, deactivate this option in the configuration menu.
7. Disable automatic backup
WhatsApp chat backups saved in iCloud or Google Drive they are not encrypted. So if some chats are important and need to be saved, it’s a good idea to export them and save them safely elsewhere. Unnecessary backup of all WhatsApp chats takes up storage space and is often of little use.
8. Beware of “fake news” and the use of a third party account
Do not spread unverified news, hate messages, or rumors about delicate topics on WhatsApp.
Justice can investigate your WhatsApp chats to find out if you had a role in the exchange of false news to incite violence. Also, don’t make the mistake of running a WhatsApp account under someone else’s name. This qualifies for spoofing and is a crime.
Bonus track: how to prevent a hijacking attack on your account?
First of all, you must deactivate the preview your SMS messages. This may sound obvious, but many people prefer to have this option activated to look at messages more quickly.
When people use two-step verification (also known as double factor authentication) without an authenticating app, they tend to receive codes sent via SMS, but if they can be viewed on a locked screen, they are meaningless to a user who is not attentive to their phone.
Therefore, secondly, you should never lose sight of your phone. It is common to observe people on the bus, train or subway fall asleep with their phones in plain sight or even go to the bathroom in restaurants while leaving their phones surrounded by strangers.
As mentioned above, the best way to protect your account is to enable two-step verification in WhatsApp, as it is simple to configure and will prevent this attack from succeeding.