This led hundreds and thousands of WhatsApp users to quit the platform and join messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram. In fact, Telsa CEO Elon Musk also asked users to move to Signal, which claims to be an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform just like WhatsApp. Telegram, on the other hand, keeps chats secure and end-to-end encrypted only in secret chatting mode. Also Read - WhatsApp removes this feature for Android, iOS users: Know details
If you can’t quit WhatsApp but want to keep your chats and other data secure, change these settings of the messaging app immediately. Also Read - WhatsApp multi-device support available for Android, iOS users: How to enable the setting
Device linking security update
To ensure more security into WhatsApp Web and Desktop, the platform has added an additional layer of protection when you want to link your WhatsApp account to your computer. To link WhatsApp Web or Desktop to your account you will be asked to use face or fingerprint unlock on your phone, before scanning a QR code from the phone to link your device.
The platform rolled out the Disappearing messages feature last year for users globally. When the disappearing messages feature is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days. The option can be turned off whenever required.
WhatsApp users must use the two-step verification feature as it adds an additional layer of protection by requiring your six-digit PIN when resetting and verifying your WhatsApp account. This helps prevent your WhatsApp account from being accessed in the event of your SIM card is stolen or your phone number compromised. To setup Two-Step Verification you will just need to open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. You can also optionally enter your email address. This email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit PIN, and also to help safeguard your account.
Lock WhatsApp with Touch ID or Face ID
WhatsApp offers 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. Just head over to WhatsApp Settings > Tap Account > Privacy > Screen Lock. Turn on Require Touch ID or Require Face ID, and then select the length of time WhatsApp can be on standby mode before Touch ID or Face ID is required.
Group Privacy setting enables you to control who adds you to a WhatsApp group. Just go to Settings > tap Account > Privacy > Groups and select one of three options: Everyone, My Contacts or My Contacts Except. My Contacts option means only users you have in your address book can add you to groups and My Contacts Except feature provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group.
WhatsApp allows you to control what details you share with others in your personal profile – whether that’s everyone, just your contacts, or nobody. You can restrict your Last Seen, Profile Photo, About and Status within WhatsApp’s privacy setting menu.
Update the app regularly
Updating the app is very important given WhatsApp keeps pushing updates at regular intervals with improved security features. Your phone will either auto-update or you will need to manually update WhatsApp by going to the phone’s app store, searching for WhatsApp, and tapping ‘update’.