WhatsApp does not stop adding features almost weekly to make its messaging app one of the most advanced in the market.
This time it offers us the possibility of hiding our phone number in those group chats in which we are surrounded by strangers with whom we may not want to share our number.
Actually, this new feature is not something new in the messaging apps market. Meta, in its quest to stay current, has again copied one of the features of its main rival in the West: Telegram.
As is well known, the WhatsApp service is based on people’s telephone number, which is established as a unique identifier. Thus, when we want to contact any person, it is necessary to know this ID, meaning, their phone number.
It has always seemed to us that our relevant information regarding the WhatsApp profile was limited to the photo and status. This trend forced Meta from the beginning to dispose of advances on limiting who can see your WhatsApp profile. Nowadays, the telephone number is equally or even more relevant. If we do not want a stranger to be able to access our phone, simply because a third party added us to a common WhatsApp group, these kinds of changes are a must.
From now on, as group administrators, we will be able to prevent the sharing of other people’s phone numbers using this option.
This new measure has been streamlined to arrive in time along with the new “Communities” chats, a new type of chat that is slowly being rolled out. In these Communities, no one will have access to your number and you will be asked for permission to be added to them.
This change was demanded for quite some time, as it existed in Telegram and was very useful.
These Communities will not be searchable or public so we will need someone to invite us to access them.
Other actions to improve your Whatsapp security
Clean your contact list
Many of the security options that WhatsApp sets by default, have to do with the contacts we have in our address book.
It is a good idea, therefore, that from time to time we clean our address book and remove that contact from whom we bought something on eBay or that bricklayer who did remodeling work for you years ago.
Remove or limit who sees your profile picture
Another interesting option to avoid that no stranger knows who you are, is to remove the profile picture. If we don’t want to miss out on this interesting customization, we can always set our profile picture as only visible to “my contacts”, or even to no one!
Hide your last connection
If you are paranoid, you can also delete your last connection from your chats. This way you can leave WhatsApps unread (without the double blue check mark), making it clear that you have actually read them in one way or another but that you don’t really want to answer them.
Hide your last time online
Just like the last connection, we can simply hide when we are online. In this way we avoid that someone is aware that we are connected to send us messages that may be annoying for us.
Disable the double blue check mark
By deactivating the double check mark, you will be able to read received messages without any gimmicks, such as using the notification bar or your smartwatch, and thus be able to ignore them indefinitely. Did these messages actually reach you? That, we will never know.
The downside of this configuration is that we will not be able to know if our messages have been read, but well, let others worry about that.
Hide your text status
If we are really witty with our text status (the text specifying our status under the name), we can eliminate the possibility of third parties seeing it.
Limit who can see your status posts
Status can be very personal and we can have very diverse people in our address book, especially if we use our phone for business or if we are self-employed.
In security and chat options, we can restrict which contacts we want to see our publications.
Remove your name from your profile
A trick if we rarely use if we want to use our photo to define our identity, is to delete our name.
WhatsApp will not let us change it easily, but we can always copy a non-printable character elsewhere, and put it in our profile name. Although the name won’t really be blank, people won’t see anything and it will look like it is.
Activate airplane mode
Even if we deactivate the last connected or available marker, there are still cases in which our contacts will be able to know if you are reading, writing or performing different actions in chats.
An alternative is to put our phone temporarily in airplane mode, proceed to answer or work on WhatsApp, and once we want that message to be sent, return and deactivate airplane mode to send them all at once.
Add fingerprint access to log into WhatsApp
If you don’t control who uses your phone, your partner is very jealous or the kids are fiddling with the phone to see their drawings, this is definitely your option.
By adding fingerprint activation, the app will ask us to enter our fingerprint to navigate between chats. Undoubtedly the best option.
Encrypt your chat backup
If you make backups of your WhatsApp chat history, you have the option to encrypt them before uploading them to the cloud. In this way, you will prevent them from being downloaded and read by third parties, since the key to decrypt them will be generated and stored by your device.
Activate messages with expiration date
One of the new features of WhatsApp allows you to define the duration of your messages in the chat. If you configure this option, you will be able to delete your messages automatically after a day, a week, etc.
Send photos that last only 1 view
Similar to the above, WhatsApp presents a feature that comes from Snapchat. This is the single-view photos.
If we send a photo with this option, the photos can only be viewed once by each of the chat participants before being deleted forever.