WhatsApp security features: Five tips to keep your WhatsApp chats safe and secure
One of the most popular social messaging platforms right now, WhatsApp has over a billion number of users. The social messaging app is used even more during the times of quarantine and lockdowns. The app can be used to share information and connect with your families and loved ones. The social messaging app comes with a number of security features like end-to-end encryption, lock code, face unlock and more.
WhatsApp says, “WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is available when you and the people you message use our app. Many messaging apps only encrypt messages between you and them, but WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This is because your messages are secured with a lock, and only the recipient and you have the special key needed to unlock and read them. For added protection, every message you send has its own unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages.”
WhatsApp Calling lets you talk to your friends and family, even if they’re in another country. Just like your messages, WhatsApp calls are end-to-end encrypted so WhatsApp and third parties can’t listen to them.
WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages on their servers once they are delivered and end-to-end encryption means that WhatsApp and third parties can’t read them anyway.
Here are the top WhatsApp security features
Security Code Change Notification
Each of your chats has its own security code used to verify that your calls and the messages you send to that chat are end-to-end encrypted. This code can be found in the contact info screen, both as a QR code and a 60-digit number. These codes are unique to each chat and can be compared between people in each chat to verify that the messages you send to the chat are end-to-end encrypted. Security codes are just visible versions of the special key shared between you – and don’t worry, it’s not the actual key itself, that’s always kept secret.
At times, the security codes used in end-to-end encryption might change. This is likely because you or your contact reinstalled WhatsApp or changed phones.
As an additional privacy measure, you can prompt fingerprint lock when you open WhatsApp on your phone. When this is enabled, you’ll have to use your fingerprint to access the app.
Two-step verification is an optional feature that adds more security to your account. When you have two-step verification enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit PIN that you created using this feature.
Hide Last Seen
By default, WhatsApp allows any WhatsApp user to see your read receipts, last seen, about, and profile photo. To change these settings, you can simply go to More Options which is a horizontal triple dot, Settings > Account > Privacy.
On WhatsApp, there are a number of links which you receive in a chat which may flash a suspicious link indicator. This indicator may appear when a link contains a combination of characters that is considered unusual. Spammers may use these character combinations to trick you into tapping on links that appear to go to a legitimate website, but actually take you to a malicious site.
When receiving links, carefully review the content of the message. If a link is marked suspicious, you can tap the link and a pop-up message will appear, highlighting the unusual characters within the link. Then you can choose to open the link or go back to the chat.