Despite backtracking on the controversial policy, WhatsApp remains under the close scrutiny of regulators.
This doesn’t affect the security of your WhatsApp chats since they are end-to-end encrypted – meaning no one can read the content of your messages, including WhatsApp and law enforcement. But despite this high tech level of security available some of the Facebook-owned app’s default settings aren’t that private.
Between Signal or WhatsApp, we will recommend Signal. But since WhatsApp’s global dominance and presence is unbeatable, it’s difficult to switch to any other messaging app.
Here we provide you with some best WhatsApp features that you can use to improve your privacy and get the most out of this amazing app.
WhatsApp’s disappearing messages are the best way to keep on top of your smartphone storage. They protect your privacy to the highest levels. For example, someone might create a backup of the message before it’s deleted, or use a camera to take a picture of the screen.
You can use this feature by simply tapping the WhatsApp group or chat name at the top of the screen and scroll down to disappearing messages. You can turn on the feature.
There is an option in WhatsApp that helps you temporarily hiding the chats. One way is to use the archive chat function. This function allows you to hide individual or group messages from your conversations without deleting them.
To archive a chat, you have to go to the Chats tab, swipe left, and then archive the conversation. You will be able to see your archived chats at the top of the Chats tab. Swipe left to unarchive them if you wish. You can also use the feature by tapping and holding the chat you want to archive in your Chats list.
WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted by default but backups aren’t if you use the backup chat history function in WhatsApp. WhatsApp will ask you to use this feature to back up your messages on Google or the Apple cloud. This is a little risky and because of the risk involved in backup Signal doesn’t even offer cloud backups as an option.
This backup function helps immensely in boosting your security by not storing your messages on Google or Apple’s servers, but there is a trade-off with functionality since you risk losing your chat history.
WhatsApp provides an option of blocking a contact, and thankfully it’s relatively easy to do. Just go to the contact you wish to block in Chats, Contact info, Block Contact. You can also go to Settings, Account, Privacy, Blocked, and Add New. The person you blocked will not be able to know about it but they will no longer be able to call or send you messages.
If you want to unblock any person you can go to Privacy, Blocked and opening up the contact, and scrolling down to Unblock Contact.
In addition to this, there is another function Report and Block that is useful for annoying spam messages you might receive on WhatsApp. Using this feature notifies WhatsApp’s database of suspicious numbers to stop others from receiving similar messages. For this go to Contact Info, Report Contact, Report, and Block.
Transfer from Android to iPhone
Earlier it was not easy to transfer WhatsApp messages between Android and iPhone, because the end-to-end encrypted chats are stored on the device itself rather than in the cloud.
But in August this year, WhatsApp updated its policies and content can now be transferred between Android and iOS. It works via a QR code when the Android and iOS devices are physically connected via a USB-C to Lightning Cable. The phone number should be the same on both devices.
When you change your phone, you’ll want to unlink your WhatsApp account and delete the previous data. If you have a new number, then delete the old WhatsApp account and make another account with your new phone number on your new device. Before returning your old phone or selling it, wipe all the data including the SD card to avoid your information ending up in the wrong hands.
WhatsApp launched a multi-device beta that allows you to link four devices excluding your smartphone.
WhatsApp doesn’t come with password security, but it does offer multi-factor authentication to stop your account from being hacked. This is done with the help of a PIN, which you will be asked to enter semi-regularly, rather than every time you open WhatsApp.
The PIN set cannot be enabled by default, so you need to do this yourself. To start, go to Account, Two-Step Verification, and Enable the feature. Now you can set up a secure six-digit PIN and add an email address to allow you to quickly reset the code if needed.
WhatsApp also allows you to use the feature like iPhone’s Face ID to secure your account. You can do this by tapping Settings, Privacy, Screen Lock, Require Face ID to open WhatsApp.
Requesting account information
The WhatsApp request account information feature (one of the best Whatsapp features) allows you to receive a report of your WhatsApp account information and settings for you to review or port to another app. This can be done by going to WhatsApp Settings, Account, Request Account Info, and choose Request Report.
After three days WhatsApp will send a notification letting you know how long you have to download the report before it’s deleted from its servers. Do not change your phone number or delete your current account until you have the data.
WhatsApp’s privacy settings tell a lot of information to people you chat to like when you have read the message when you last saw it, and profile features such as your picture. But the good news is that you can change these settings on your own.
Go to WhatsApp, Settings, Account, Privacy. Note here that if you don’t share your last seen and read receipts, you won’t be able to see other people’s. You can’t hide when you are online and typing things and read receipts are always sent for group chats. There is no way you can hide these.
QR code to add contacts
WhatsApp QR codes help in adding contact information to WhatsApp. Simply open Settings, tap Scan, OK, and hold your device over the QR code, then tap Add to Contacts. If you want to scan photos open Settings, choose the QR icon displayed next to your name, tap Scan, and choose the Photos icon on the bottom of the screen. Now select the WhatsApp QR code from your photos and Add to Contacts.
Manage storage tools and turn off auto-download
WhatsApp saves all photos sent in a chat to your gallery by default. This is irritating, storage-hogging, and sometimes dangerous as well since images can come with viruses.
This can be turned off by going to Settings, Storage, and Data. You can even know how much space WhatsApp is taking up on your device by going to Settings, Storage and Data, Manage Storage. You can delete the files not needed and can clear the storage.
As discussed above, WhatsApp is the most used messaging app and despite all the previous loopholes it faced earlier it is still considered as the best messaging app, and users have not stopped its use due to the amazing WhatsApp features. Signal and Telegram are also gaining importance but still, they are not able to beat the fame of WhatsApp. But the foremost thing associated with any app is security and there have been many issues in WhatsApp related to security but the company has made many provisions to fix this and to revive its position in the market. I hope this article helped you in learning the best WhatsApp features that will solve your security issues related to WhatsApp.Other prominent features of whatsapp are whatsapp live location ,whatsapp status tab feature whatsapp calling feature ,whatsapp lock feature android and whatsapp new feature dark mode.