Here are WhatsApp’s top security and privacy features

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Keep your WhatsApp account secure and private through these features.

Checkpoint security researchers recently reported multiple flaws in WhatsApp that could allow hackers spoof users’ identity and even alter the text of someone else’s reply. In response, WhatsApp said that the reported flaws were not security vulnerabilities and that the suggested fixes would mean making the platform “less private.”

Even though WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures conversations are private, cybercriminals try to game the system through various means. For millions of WhatsApp users, it’s pertinent to know the key safety and security features that the platform offers.

Reporting an account
Spam is one of the biggest problems that most of the instant messaging platforms face. WhatsApp is no exception. The application allows users to report and block such accounts. If you’re receiving spam messages from an individual or group, here’s what you can do. Open the chat, tap on the name of sender (it could be an individual or a group). Once you open their profile, scroll down to bottom of the screen and the tap on “Report Contact” or “Report group.” Similarly, you can block the number to stop receiving messages altogether. You can also exit a group that continuously sends spam.

Two-step verification
From Apple to Google, all top internet companies recommend users to enable two-step verification. This brings another layer of security for your account. This also helps you get alerted if anyone is trying to hack into your account. To activate two-step verification for your WhatsApp account, here’s what you can do. Go to in-app Settings, tap on Account and then go to Two-step verification. Here, click on the “enable” button to activate the feature. Make sure you provide your correct email address which can be later used to receive the six-digit PIN code.

Group Settings
WhatsApp recently launched the most sought after feature that helps users stop others from adding them to WhatsApp Groups without their permission. WhatsApp now lets you choose between “everyone”, “my contacts”, and “nobody” to add you in a group. While it’s set for “everyone” by default, you can modify the settings by tapping on three dot menu > Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups. The feature is available for iOS and KaiOS-based smart feature phones as well.

Lost, stolen phones
Since users first lock the SIM card, it becomes difficult for WhatsApp users to reset the account as verification SMS/phone calls come to the registered number. WhatsApp gives you two options in such cases. First, you can get a new SIM card with registered number activated to re-install WhatsApp on your phone. Since WhatsApp works only on one phone number, the account on the stolen phone will be automatically reset. The second option is to email WhatsApp. Mail to WhatsApp Support with “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” in the body of an email with your full phone number in international format.

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