WhatsApp has been the most used messaging application for a very long time. While it provides a lot of convenience to the end user, it also has some features that can be exploited by malicious actors and stalkers. The ‘Last Seen’ status and ‘Online’ status have been exploited by some third-party apps to track the online whereabouts. Also Read - WhatsApp may have finally found a remedy for this long-term Android iOS issue
Some users may have noticed that they are not able to see the ‘Online’ status or the ‘Last Seen’ status of the users they haven’t chatted with in the past. According to a report by WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp beta features, the instant messaging application has integrated new features in order to stop third party applications from gaining access to time logs. Also Read - From pausing voice recordings to in-app support, here are top features coming to WhatsApp
How can ‘Last Seen’ and ‘Online’ status be used for stalking
Some third party apps from Google Play Store on Android and Apple App Store on iOS can access data from the app to log ‘online’ status time and ‘Last Seen’ time. WhatsApp has now introduced some safeguards to stop such apps from accessing such data. Also Read - WhatsApp starts testing in-app support for Android, iOS users
Even when the ‘Last seen’ status is active on both accounts, users won’t be able to view it until and unless there has been some chat history. The online status will also not show up. The app has assured that this new limitation won’t create any hindrance in chats with friends, family and businesses who have been communicating with the user.
In response to a query WhatsApp Support stated, “To improve the privacy and security of our users, we’re making it harder for people you don’t know and haven’t chatted with from seeing your last seen and online presence on WhatsApp.
This will not change anything between you and your friends, family, and businesses who you know or have previously messaged.”
In case, you are still not able to see the Last seen or Online status, your contact has either stopped sharing their status with everyone or has allowed only some specific users to view their information.