The messaging app WhatsApp is practical thanks to its instant functions. But it turns out to be invasive for users who want to exchange discreetly. To balance the scales, privacy settings have been integrated. Here are some tricks to try in the official app if you want to interact without drawing attention.

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Hide online status

On WhatsApp, it is easy to check if the person you are talking to is online or the time at which he last connected. Mentions ”Seen at” and ”Online” can become intrusive if you want to be discreet. But settings are available to hide them. On Android or IOS, go to the app settings and then to the Account option. Then click on Confidentiality then “Seen at”. You can then define exactly the limits of the visibility of your online status. Choose one of the options listed under “Everybody“. By modifying the confidentiality, you will be able to connect without the mention ”Seen at” or ”Online” being visible to your contacts. On your screen, their activity will also be invisible.

Limit status visibility

The statutes are to WhatsApp what stories are to Facebook or Instagram. You can share texts, images and bits of videos that disappear 24 hours later. These statuses are initially visible to all your contacts who have registered yours. But you can limit the visibility to a few people. In the status tab, click on the three dots representing “More options” and then on Privacy. Visibility defaults to ‘‘My contacts”. But the two additional options will allow you to exclude or limit the selection to a few numbers.

Disable read receipts

To confirm the reading of a message, the two ticks notifying the sending and the reception turn blue. But, it is possible for you to read the messages of an interlocutor without receiving confirmation. To do this, go to Settings > Account > Privacy. Then disable the option “Read receipts“. But this setting is limited to text messages exchanged privately. Group conversations and voice messages are not taken into account. By disabling read receipts, you will no longer receive read receipts for your sent messages.

Limit profile picture visibility

With your contacts, the profile picture is one of the signals of your account activity. Instead of completely removing it, you can choose a simpler option. To interact discreetly, you can limit the visibility of your profile photo directly in the application. In the general settings, click on “Account” then “Privacy”. Then click on “Profile picture” and choose an option other than “Everybody”. In particular, you will be able to make an exact selection of the contacts who can see your profile picture.

Hide your news

WhatsApp allows users to define news related to their daily life or their person. There are news presets such as “In the Office” or “At the Pool” and personalized messages. This detail of your profile can give you away if you want to go incognito. The best is to limit its visibility to a few contacts or simply define the news on ”Nobody”. Enter the Settings > Account > Privacy > News. Then change the “Everyone” option to one of the 3 additional possibilities.

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