Despite having more than a billion active global users and serving thousands of businesses, WhatsApp Messenger is still viewed as a concern to privacy and identity safety. Probably because of all those privacy and data-mishandling cases associated with the parent company Facebook. People are mostly concerned whether their chats and other media files shared over the messenger are safe or not and that for what purpose WhatsApp can use that data.
Let’s find out how WhatsApp privacy settings work ensure (or not) that your account is secure and private and learn how can you put additional measures for protecting your chats from any intrusion.
What Information WhatsApp Access by Default?
There are certain user details that WhatsApp has to access in order for you to use the service. These minor details include your name, number, and the details of everyone else in the contact list. Moreover, WhatsApp also retrieves some details regarding your phone as well. This includes model number, details regarding operating system, battery level, and phone’s IMEI number. The details of connection like IP address and network operator are also accessed by default.
Even WhatsApp’s web version that is WhatsApp Web also collects similar information using session cookies. However, these cookies rebuild every session and are deleted once the browser is shut down after the user has logged out.
These details do not reveal much of personal information regarding a user. WhatsApp access these details to evaluate usage of an individual user, as well as the combined usage of the messenger by everyone who has it installed.
WhatsApp Shares The Accessed Data – Is it True?
To some extent, YES, it is true. Earlier, the data apparently shared by WhatsApp was limited to user name and number and that too for just improving service and offer effective customization to the app. However, since Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, the messaging platform has become more marketing-oriented. Though WhatsApp is still free of advertisements, WhatsApp Business accounts do use the messenger for communicating with clients and the details of those clients are further added to the WhatsApp servers.
Furthermore, the acquisition has made the data more prone to threats. When Facebook bought out WhatsApp for a massive amount of $16 billion, it was under the condition that the data on servers for activities on both the applications would be kept separate. However, in 2016, Facebook updated its privacy policies and allowed sharing of data over the two platforms simultaneously. This meant that any WhatsApp data would be transferred to the inaccessible portion of the users’ Facebook profile. This decision was apparently based on Facebook’s ongoing experiment to unify the server infrastructure of all of its messaging platforms. All three of them. This doesn’t mean that there would be one single app doing all the tasks, but one single network for all the data centers storing user information and transmitting information over these platforms.
Location Tracking on WhatsApp
Well, that’s partially up to us whether we want WhatsApp to keep a tag on our location. Basically, in case you share your location to contact on personal chat, WhatsApp would ask your permission to have access to your GPS. So that way, yes, WhatsApp is tracking our location, but, only if we are allowing it to. It’s definitely sent using WhatsApp end-to-end encryption, so it’s safe from onlookers, but WhatsApp can see it. It requires that for troubleshooting and eventually ensuring that location updates are properly received at the other end of the chat.
But, as said, it’s just partially up to us. WhatsApp can track our location via Wi-Fi access points, IP addresses, and Bluetooth. So, technically it’s not every time we get to choose whether we wish to share our location on WhatsApp.
WhatsApp does not See Your Texts
It’s a relief that WhatsApp does NOT read or keep chats. Under the end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp, once a message is received at the other end, it is deleted from servers immediately. This works for media files like videos and photographs as well. Facebook and WhatsApp not on our texts is a big-time relief.
But, WhatsApp messages are backed in your phone under WhatsApp databases. This includes all the texts you have sent over your contacts and the pictures and videos you have shared. Since these backup files are stored on individual devices, they can be easily decoded by hackers, in case your device security is breached.
Optimize Your Privacy Settings
There are certain aspects of WhatsApp privacy settings that you can optimize. Your basic public information that is your status, “About” caption, and profile picture can be kept hidden from unwanted people in your buddy list.
To do that, head to Settings<Account<Privacy. The first four options in the list are Last Seen; Profile Photo; About; Status. Here you can change preferences for people who can view these details on your profile. You can choose between Everyone, My Contacts, and Nobody. This means that you can choose with whom you wish to share your details.
Below this, you’ll see the Groups option. Here you can choose who you’d allow to add you in a WhatsApp group. And then, you can also see with whom you’ve been sharing your Live Location. Moreover, in the Privacy Settings, you can block certain contact numbers that you do not want to communicate on WhatsApp.
Protect Your Chats from People Trying to Pry on Your Phone
While you can tweak privacy settings to protect your WhatsApp account and its associated details from various dangers; however you need to keep your chats secure from people trying to pry directly into your phone. There are instances when people leave their phones unlocked or someone breaches the lock using simple patterns and PIN combinations. To avoid leaking of your WhatsApp chats and shared media files, it’s always better to add an extra layer of security on WhatsApp messenger app on your phone.
Locker for Whats Chat App is a simple and effective application to ensure that your chats remain private and only accessible to you.
- Lock individual or group chats from WhatsApp with a unique 4-digit passcode.
- Can lock the app access using the same pin.
- Allows you to keep your chats safe from anyone trying to pry on them.
- Sets up a recovery email, thus giving you a backup option, in case you forgot the passkey for the app.
- The locking option is not permanent; as a user, you have complete authority to unlock chats anytime you want to.
With Locker For Whats Chat App, you can rest assured of complete privacy of your WhatsApp account. With this app, no one would be able to access your WhatsApp chats without authorization. Thus, if you wish to lend your phone to anyone for a call or to drop a text, as they say.
You can learn installation and activation of Locker for Whats Chat App here.
WhatsApp is one of the most confidential and private messaging platforms. Since it allows two-way personal communication, most people share the most private conversations on the platform. Thus, it’s essential that users are aware of WhatsApp privacy-concerned functioning and learn to protect their WhatsApp chats from snooping eavesdroppers.
If you feel that WhatsApp privacy is a major issue, we’d like to know your views in the comments section. Moreover, you can use Locker for Whats Chat App and drop your valuable feedback for the same.