WhatsApp is the most widely used instant message service among various services used around the world, it has more than two billion users worldwide. Privacy is an important issue when using any social media platform. Like all other Instant messaging apps people are more often concerned about the privacy of their data over WhatsApp.
The first thing that one must learn is to know what type of data WhatsApp collects from users and whether is it secure or not, here we will take a deep look into WhatsApp privacy.
- Personal Information
- Financial information
- App activity
- App info and performance
- Device and other ID
The WhatsApp justification for the collection of these items is given that they collect data to improve user experience, app functionality, developer communications, analytics, advertising or marketing, fraud prevention, security, and compliance.
The main questions that arise here are whether information gathered by WhatsApp is secure or it is available to govt and law enforcement agencies. As per the information provided by WhatsApp org, all the information is encrypted and is not available to any of the mentioned above.
Our message in WhatsApp is secured by End-to-End encryption and WhatsApp does not maintain any record of these messages or media, the term End to End encryption means that while person A communicates with Person B the message is transferred to B from A with a Lock, so it is secure while traveling for its destination. In order to secure its user’s privacy WhatsApp did not store our messages on any of its servers. They are stored in users’ devices and in case of backup all the information is stored in Online Space i.e., Google Drive, we connect with our WhatsApp profile.
Our messages are saved on WhatsApp servers only in one scenario if Mr. A sends a message to Mr. B and Mr. B is offline, WhatsApp will save this message for a period of thirty days for the purpose of delivery of the message. In other rumors, it is also said that WhatsApp shares the data of its users with its parent company Meta.
All the above-mentioned details are of data collection by WhatsApp Org., but A question rises how can we secure our privacy from other users?
For this purpose, WhatsApp provides Privacy setting details which are given below:
For Android Devices:
Go to More Options> Settings> Privacy
Go to Menu> Settings> Privacy
Go to Settings> Privacy
In the privacy section, we can use various options that are available
Last seen and Online
n these settings you can choose who can see when you were last time were online or whether you are currently online or not. Options that are available in “Who can see My Last Seen” are as follows.
- Everyone: this term refers to anyone using WhatsApp having saved their contact no can see when they were online last time.
- My Contact: if you choose this it will show all the contact saved on your mobile when we were last time online.
- My Contact Expect: choosing this option will provide you with the option you can choose specific contacts saved in your mobile to be excluded from the list of contacts to whom you want to show your last seen.
- Nobody: by selecting this no one be able to see your last seen.
Options available for “Who can see when I’m online” are as
- Everyone: everyone can see if you are Online
- Same As Last Seen: same settings you choose for Last Seen.
If we do not share our last seen online, we would not be able to see others’ last seen or online status. If every option is chosen that means everyone you texted or done call either audio or video and all those whose contacts are saved in their phone would be able to see your last seen and online status.
In these settings, one can decide who can see his profile photo. Options available are the same as “Last Seen and Online.”
In this setting, you can choose who can see you about information.
In this option, you can choose who can see your status
- My Contact: All your contacts will be able to see your status.
- My Contact Expect: the contact you exclude would not be able to see your status.
- Only Share with: One can Select specific contacts and the status will show only to those specific ones.
The note able thing in this regard is that changes that we made to our privacy settings do not affect our status already uploaded. And if a contact has turned off his read receipts you will not be able to see if has seen your status or not.
If turned on one will be able to receive read receipts, if turned off one would not send or receive read receipts. One thing to note is that read receipts are always sent for group chats.
Default Message Timer
This function provides you with the option to start a new conversation with a disappearing message after a selected time. The options available for disappearing messages are as follows.
- 24 Hours
- 7 Days
- 90 Days
This setting does not affect our already existing chats.
In groups, you can decide who can add you to the WhatsApp Groups. One can choose between Everyone, My Contacts, and My Contact Except. A fun fact is that option is not available to exclude everyone from adding you to add groups, but you can go to the My Contacts Expect option and select all the contact this will fulfill the purpose.
Here one can see contact already blocked and can add more contact to the block list or can remove the ones that already exist.
Finger Print Lock
This option is only available with devices compatible with fingerprints you can lock your WhatsApp and can only be accessed by your fingerprints. One can choose to lock his WhatsApp automatically Immediately, after 1 minute, or after 30 Minutes but even if WhatsApp is locked you can still answer calls.