WhatsApp is one of the most popular chat applications used by most of us for personal as well official communication. However, the platform is used by criminals for duping innocent people. These criminals get indulged in activities like sharing phishing links that can steal money from your bank account. The platform is also used to spread false or fake information. To tackle such issues, WhatsApp has rolled out some features that help users to protect themselves on the platform. Let’s have a look at some WhatsApp basics that users should follow to ensure safety.
Use ‘Disappearing Messages’ and ‘View Once’ features
When you use the ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature, the new messages sent in individual or group chats disappear on a chosen duration. The ‘View Once’ feature allows users to send photos and videos that disappear from the chat once they are opened. The screenshot option for such messages is also disabled.
Use two-step verification
For an extra layer of security, WhatsApp has the feature of two-step verification. When users resets or verify their account, they need a six-digit PIN code. This is useful in case of SIM card theft or phone compromise.
Block and report unwanted contacts
WhatsApp offers users an easy way to block unwanted or suspicious accounts. Users also get an option to report to WhatsApp when they encounter suspicious or unwanted messages. Additionally, WhatsApp now offers the option to save reported messages to their phone if they want to share them with fact-checkers or law enforcement officials.
Don’t share these details
Users should avoid sharing sensitive information such as addresses, phone numbers, passwords, credit/debit card numbers, and bank account information on WhatsApp.
Check who can see your profile picture
WhatsApp enables users to control their personal information such as – Profile Picture, Last Seen, Online Status, About, Status, and Who’s Viewing: Everyone, Contacts Only, Select Contacts, or Nobody. Never share your profile picture with strangers.
Control who can see you online
WhatsApp enables its users to control their online presence for those times when you want to keep it private. Users can choose who can and can’t see when they are online.
Beware of these links
Spam messages, cyber threats and scams are everywhere – be it a bogus job offer, winning a cash prize, or a fully sponsored trip from an unknown, fake number. These messages often contain links to a website or request access to personal information using disguised malware. Users often become victim of these types of scams. Therefore, it is important for users to think before clicking: if you get it on WhatsApp, you can easily report accounts to WhatsApp by flagging a specific message.
Download WhatsApp from official sources only
Last but not the least, always download and install WhatsApp for your phone and computer only from official sources. Download from https://www.whatsapp.com/download/ on desktop. On mobile phones, install WhatsApp from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.