Being part of the digital world is no longer a luxury but a necessity! We’re all connected through digital forums in a personal or professional capacity - be it, staying connected through messaging apps with your loved ones, using payments apps running the shop, or chatting with your local grocery store. But just like the real world, we need to safeguard ourselves in the digital world as well.
WhatsApp’s safety features empower users to take their safety and privacy into their own hands while staying connected with their loved ones or while talking to their favourite business.
Here are some WhatsApp basics to follow for safeguarding your digital well-being:
- Keep conversations private: With features like ‘Disappearing Messages’ where new messages sent in the individual or group chat disappear depending on the duration users select and ‘View Once’ which enables users to send photos and videos that disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened, Whatsapp aims at giving users even more control over their privacy than ever before. Additionally, WhatsApp has also disabled the screenshot option on such messages to add a layer of privacy.
- Enable Two-Step Verification: WhatsApp allows users to add an extra layer of security to their account by enabling the Two-Step Verification feature, which requires a six-digit PIN when resetting and verifying your WhatsApp account. This is helpful in case a SIM card gets stolen or if the phone is compromised.
- Block and report unwanted contacts: Unlike traditional SMS, WhatsApp provides a simple way for users to block accounts. Users can easily report to WhatsApp if they encounter problematic messages. In addition, WhatsApp now provides the option for people to keep reported messages on their phones if they want to share them with fact-checkers or law enforcement officials.
- Control what’s shared online: We transact within the online world daily and thus protecting our personal information and privacy is essential when using the internet. Sharing sensitive information such as addresses, phone numbers, passwords, credit/ debit card numbers, and bank account information should be avoided. On WhatsApp, users can control their personal details such as - Profile Photo, Last Seen, Online status, About, Status, and who sees it - everyone, contacts only, select contacts, or no one.
You can control your online presence as, for the times you want to keep your online presence private, WhatsApp has introduced the ability to select who can and can’t see when you’re online.
- Be careful with clicking or believing: The Internet is full of spam messages, cyber threats and frauds. Be it a fake job offer, winning a so-called cash prize, or a fully sponsored trip from an unknown and fake number. These messages often include links to a website or request access to personal information with disguised malware. While we may be aware of netizens, users must be more susceptible to falling prey to such scams. Hence, it is important that users must think before they click - If you receive it on WhatsApp, you can simply report accounts to WhatsApp by flagging a specific message. To do so, you can simply long-press a particular message to either ‘report’ or ‘block a user’.
- Think twice before forwarding messages: WhatsApp has created a label for all forwarded messages and limits the number of times you can forward messages as a way to encourage users to reconsider before sharing. Users must be aware that if they aren’t sure whether something is true or don’t know the source of the message, they must not forward it, as it may be fake information.
- Last but not least only download and install WhatsApp for your phone and desktop from authentic sources