WhatsApp settings for the privacy aware

Here are some settings you can change on WhatsApp to make it a little bit better.

By the way, WhatsApp changed its privacy policy and it is now sharing users’ personal information with Facebook and other Facebook-owned companies.

The recommendations for iOS were taken from “Operational WhatsApp on iOS” and also replicated for Android.

Android – 7 settings to care about:

If there is any safety concern:
Settings >> chats >> chat history >> delete all chats

  1. Settings >> Account >> Privacy

    Last Seen: My Contacts
    Profile Photo: My Contacts
    Status: My Contacts
    Read Receipts: OFF

  2. Settings >> Account >> Security

    Show Security Notifications: ON

  3. Settings >> Chats

    Chat Backup >> Back up to Google Drive: Never

  4. Settings >> Notifications

    Popup notification: No popup

  5. Settings >> Profile (the photo)

    The name entry here is what is displayed in the recipient’s notifications. Feel free to change to a generic value, e.g. Friend

  6. Settings >> Data usage >> Media auto download

    When using mobile data >> Uncheck everything
    When using wifi >> Uncheck everything


iPhone – 5 settings to care about:

If there is any safety concern:
Settings >> Chats >> Delete all chats

  1. Settings >> Account >> Privacy

    Last Seen: My Contacts
    Profile Photo: My Contacts
    Status: My Contacts
    Read Receipts: OFF

  2. Settings >> Account >> Security

    Show Security Notifications: ON

  3. Settings >> Chats

    Save Incoming Media: OFF
    Chat Backup >> Auto Backup: OFF

  4. Settings >> Notifications

    Show Preview: OFF (unfortunately, this still displays the sender’s name)

  5. Settings >> Profile (the photo)

    The name entry here is what is displayed in the recipient’s notifications. Feel free to change to a generic value, e.g. Friend


General phone safety – 3 tips:

  1. Be conscious of physical access to the device

  2. Use a strong passcode on the device

  3. Have a short time-out window on the device (less than 3 minutes)

Pam Rucinque

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Melbourne, Australia