Over the years, WhatsApp has enhanced its feature list on the application. However, the increased list of features also creates loopholes for malicious actors. In order to provide a safe experience WhatsApp has also introduced various safety features. Here are some of the features you should be aware of if you’re a regular user of WhatsApp. Also Read - WhatsApp phone numbers of 500 mn users leaked online: Report
Here are some WhatsApp safety basics every user should follow: Also Read - WhatsApp is rolling out contact cards sharing on Windows beta
Keep conversations private: With features like ‘Disappearing Messages’ where new messages sent in the individual or group chat disappear depending on the duration users select and ‘View Once’ which enables users to send photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, Whatsapp aims at giving users even more control over their privacy than ever before. Additionally, WhatsApp has also disabled the screenshot option on such messages to add a layer of privacy. Also Read - WhatsApp is working on voice status updates on iOS beta
Enable Two-Step Verification: WhatsApp allows users to add an extra layer of security to their account by enabling the Two-Step Verification feature, which requires a six-digit PIN when resetting and verifying your WhatsApp account. This is helpful in case a SIM card gets stolen or if the phone is compromised.
Block and report unwanted contacts: WhatsApp provides a way for users to block accounts. Users can report to WhatsApp if they encounter problematic messages. In addition, WhatsApp provides the option for people to keep reported messages on their phones if they want to share them with fact-checkers or law enforcement officials.
Control what’s shared online: Sharing sensitive information such as addresses, phone numbers, passwords, credit/ debit card numbers, and bank account information should be avoided. On WhatsApp, users can control their personal details such as – Profile Photo, Last Seen, Online status, About, Status, and who sees it – everyone, contacts only, select contacts, or no one.
You can control your online presence as, for the times you want to keep your online presence private, WhatsApp has introduced the ability to select who can and can’t see when you’re online.
Be careful with clicking or believing: The Internet is full of spam messages, cyber threats and frauds. Be it a fake job offer, winning a so-called cash prize, or a fully sponsored trip from an unknown and fake number. These messages often include links to a website or request access to personal information with disguised malware. While we may be aware of netizens, users must be more susceptible to falling prey to such scams. Hence, it is important that users must think before they click – If you receive it on WhatsApp, one can report the accounts to WhatsApp by flagging a specific message. To do so, you can simply long-press a particular message to either ‘report’ or ‘block a user’.
Think twice before forwarding messages: WhatsApp has a label for all forwarded messages and limits the number of times you can forward messages as a way to encourage users to reconsider before sharing. Users must be aware that if they aren’t sure whether something is true or don’t know the source of the message, they must not forward it, as it may be fake information.