WhatsApp: 5 privacy features you should know in 2019


We already know that WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted. But are you aware of the top privacy features of WhatsApp? Read on to know more about it.

WhatsApp has left no stone unturned when it comes to features. The Facebook-owned company actively adds a bunch of features on a monthly basis and also keeps the simplicity level intact. WhatsApp recently added quite a few useful features to its Android and iOS apps. These include WhatsApp Call Waiting, Text Reminder, Group Invitation System, and a lot more. Besides, we already know that WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted. But are you aware of the top privacy features of WhatsApp? Read on to know more about it.

Top WhatsApp privacy features you should know in 2019

WhatsApp fingerprint lock

In order to offer users an extra layer of security, WhatsApp added a fingerprint lock feature to its Android app. It is worth noting that this security feature was first rolled out on iOS with support for Touch ID and Face ID. To enable it on WhatsApp, go to Settings -> Account -> Privacy -> Fingerprint lock. If you enable WhatsApp’s “Fingerprint Lock” feature, then it will ask you to authenticate your fingerprint stored in the OS.

The feature comes with three options to “Automatically lock” the app. The first is “immediately,” the second is “After 1 minute,” and the third is “After 30 minutes.” It should be noted that WhatsApp’s fingerprint lock feature doesn’t block calls, and only hides messages. The feature also allows users to enable or disable message context preview in the notifications.

Hide received media files

WhatsApp allows users to hide images, videos and even audio files received on WhatsApp in the device’s default gallery. This feature allows you to do so for both individual chats and group chats. The feature can be accessed by going into a contact’s info page and then clicking on the “Media Visibility” option. Here you’ll get the option to choose between No, Yes and Default, to show the media from the chat in your gallery.

You can choose one basis of your preference. The Default option is preset to show media files in the gallery. You can do the same for group chats as well. While it’s not a big feature it will still help reduce the clutter caused by the huge barrage of unwanted images shared on a WhatsApp group or by an individual friend.

How to block contacts on WhatsApp

WhatsApp users can simply block (and even report) their contacts or an unknown number. After blocking the user, you will not receive any messages or calls from him/her. The process of blocking a person on WhatsApp is very simple. You just need to open the chat window of that user, then tap on the three-dot menu in the top right corner. Click on ‘More’, and choose block option. You will find the unblock option in the app’s Setting’s section > Account > Privacy > Blocked Contacts.

Separately, WhatsApp will soon showcase a small notice in a chat window information to the user. This notice will inform a user when they have blocked or unblocked any particular contact. The report noted that this notice will only be visible to the user who is blocking the other contact.

Group invitation system

The messaging platform recently added the group invitation system. This privacy option allows users to control who can add them to groups. The options include “Everyone”, “My Contacts”, and “My Contacts Except”. The second option means the friends you have in your address book can add you to groups. The third one provides additional control for who among your contacts can add you to a group. In those cases, an admin who can’t add you to a group will be prompted to send a private invite through an individual chat.

Status privacy

Lastly, WhatsApp offers you a dedicated Status section, similar to Instagram “Stories.” The company has also added a Status Privacy menu, where you will find three options. The “My Contacts” option means only your contacts will be able to check your WhatsApp status. The second option in the list of “My Contacts Except,” which is self-explanatory. The last one is “Only Share With,” meaning you can share your Status with a few selected friends.

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