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How to protect your privacy in WhatsApp

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WhatsApp logo (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Maintaining your privacy is an important part of staying safe online. Not everyone needs to see your profile photo or know that you are online right now. Let's take a look at how you can protect your privacy in WhatsApp.

How to change your last seen privacy settings in WhatsApp for Android

The last seen status tells other users when you were last online in WhatsApp. It's a good way to know when your friends or family members have last used the service, but if you don't want to share these details, you can easily change last seen settings.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the action overflow menu. It's the three vertical dots on the top right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Tap Account.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Last seen.
  4. Everyone: All WhatsApp users get last seen updates about you.
  5. My contacts: Only people on your contacts list get last seen updates.
  6. Nobody: No one on WhatsApp will get any last seen updates about you.

Note that if you turn off the last seen feature, it also gets rid of your ability to see when your contacts last used the service.

How to change your profile photo privacy settings in WhatsApp for Android

This setting governs who can see your profile photo, if you have one.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the action overflow menu. It's the three vertical dots on the top right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Tap Account.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Profile photo.
  4. Everyone: All WhatsApp users can see your profile photo.
  5. My contacts: Only people on your contacts list can see your profile photo.
  6. Nobody: Other WhatsApp users can't see your profile photo.

How to change your Status privacy settings in WhatsApp for Android

Status posts are like Instagram Stories, and you have the ability to select who gets to see your updates.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the action overflow menu. It's the three vertical dots on the top right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Tap Account.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Status.
  4. My contacts: All contacts will be able to see your Status uploads.
  5. My contacts except: You can selectively exclude contacts from seeing your Status.
  6. Only share with: Use this option if you only want to share Status posts with select contacts.

How to block a user in WhatsApp for Android

Did you meet someone recently and you added them to your contacts, but now they won't stop bugging you over WhatsApp? This setting lets you to block them from contacting you via WhatsApp. Unfortunately, they can still contact you other ways, but hey, life's not perfect.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the action overflow menu. It's the three vertical dots on the top right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Tap Account.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Blocked contacts.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Use the Add button to block a contact.
  2. Select the contact.
  3. The contact will be instantly blocked.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

How to change your phone number in WhatsApp for Android

Changing your phone number is sometimes the only way to get some sanity back in your life. WhatsApp makes it easy to link your account to a new phone number.

  1. Open WhatsApp.
  2. Tap the action overflow menu. It's the three vertical dots on the top right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Tap Account.
  2. Tap Change number.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. Enter your old phone number, new phone number, and hit Next.

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

WhatsApp has over 2 billion users around the world, and a key draw for the service is that it works well on the best Android phones as well as entry-level options that don't cost over $100. Although WhatsApp has an extensive feature-set that includes video calling, easy media sharing, and so much more, the service is lightweight and doesn't take up a lot of resources by itself.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor covering Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone manufacturers, and writes about the semiconductor industry, storage servers, and audio products. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

3 Comments
  • Until May 15th
  • Tl;dr you can't, switch to signal
  • WhatsApp has sent me a pop up to me today asking me to accept their new T&C's today but saying I have until May 15th to accept. I didn't accept.
    A message from a contract came through a few minutes later. I opened, read and typed an answer. Pressed Send and a small clock icon came up on the message instead of the usual Ticks. The message states like that for about 5 minutes before the clock icon changed to grey ticks, and then blue ticks.
    Seems to me they're warning me to Accept......... Or else