WhatsApp is one of the most popular and go-to platform for instant messages, calls, and video calls. The fact that you can call, message, and video call contacts from one platform itself make things a lot easier for us.
Since WhatsApp’s calls and chats are end-to-end encrypted, you don’t have to worry about anyone intercepting your messages or your calls. Even Facebook and WhatsApp can’t intercept end to end encrypted conversations.
While your messages and calls are safe, there are several elements out there that scam, manipulate, and harass people on the platform.
How To Stay Safe On WhatsApp
To stay safe, here are some simple steps you can follow –
Show Your Profile Picture To Your Contacts Only
WhatsApp gives you an option to hide your profile picture from those who are not in your contacts. Go to ‘Settings’, Click on ‘Account’, then click on ‘Privacy’.
Here you will see ‘Profile photo’. WhatsApp lets you change who can see your profile photo and you can pick between – Everyone, Nobody, and My Contacts. It’s better to select either Nobody or My Contacts just to be safe.
Block People With Whom You Don’t Want To Talk
You might have saved a lot of numbers in your phone directory that you don’t intend to speak to on WhatsApp too. Like a local store you call and order things from or a delivery/courier service agent who needed help with location one time, and you had to add them to your contact list for that.
It’s easier to select and block a contact on WhatsApp than it is to find them on the contact list and delete their contacts. This will also prevent them from messaging you unnecessarily.
Do Not Accept Video/Voice Calls From Unknown Contacts
Don’t pick up a call unless you recognize it or unless you know you asked the person to call you. This is especially important for video calls because there is no way to stop the front camera from turning on the very moment you answer the call.
If you have to pick up a video call from a strange number, manually cover the front camera so as the person on the other side cannot see you till you allow it.
Do Not Pick Up Calls Or Reply To Numbers That Begin With Prefixes That You Do Not Recognise
You will be able to recognize local numbers if they call or message you. However, if you suddenly see a very strange code, ignore the message/call just to be safe.
Many times scammers mask their numbers to look like international calls to trick people. If you have friends/relatives living abroad, make sure they tell you which number they are going to call from so as you can save it.
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Enable Two Factor Authentication
This feature lets you set a second lock on your WhatsApp account. At the first level, you can protect your WhatsApp account by putting in a code lock, or face-unlock or finger-print lock on the app itself so as no one but you can open it. Then the second level is the addition of a registered number.
With the latter, whenever you change your main device and need to set up your WhatsApp account on a new device, the app will send an OTP to your registered number. You need to feed this OTP in to delink the older phone and set up the app on the new device.
If you have not triggered this yourself and suddenly happen to receive an OTP, ignore it and don’t share it with anyone. Block the person asking for this OTP immediately.
Never Share Any Credentials With Anyone On WhatsApp
Scammers and hackers have managed to break into or take over WhatsApp accounts by posing as an acquaintance and pretending to ask for help because they have been logged out from their account.
In this case, never share any sensitive information with anyone on WhatsApp like bank details or credit card details. Also, do not use WhatsApp on the Web on laptops/PCs that aren’t yours.