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Latest WhatsApp Hacks you Need to Know to Protect your Privacy

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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WhatsApp, owned by Meta, is among the world’s most widely used messaging apps, boasting over 2.7 billion users. The app continuously improves its features and privacy protections to provide users with a secure experience. Despite these efforts, like all messaging platforms, your WhatsApp account carries certain risks.

Whatsapp hacks to protect your account

Accessible on iOS, WhatsApp, and Android, the app offers features such as end-to-end encryption and app lock, creating a secure environment for various interactions. However, there are additional measures one can take to safeguard their experience on the platform.

Introduction

Despite being one of the most popular messaging apps globally, WhatsApp doesn’t stop innovating. Continuously introducing new features enhances its usefulness. However, with the abundance of features, many users may overlook some of the app’s hidden gems.

Among these lesser-known features lie real game-changers, like the capability to privately reply to a group message. Once discovered, these features become indispensable, yet it’s effortless to overlook them amidst WhatsApp’s vast array of offerings.

WhatsApp General Hacks

Whatsapp hacks to protect your account

Edit a sent Message

WhatsApp introduced the ability to edit messages in May 2023. You have a window of 15 minutes to make changes to any message you’ve sent. After this time, editing is no longer possible.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Long-press the message you wish to edit.
  2. Choose the “Edit” option.
  3. Modify your message.
  4. Tap “Send” to update the edited message.

Send your Location to a Contact

WhatsApp enables you to share your location within a message. This feature is handy for meeting up with friends, as you can grant your contact access to your live location for 15 minutes, one hour, or eight hours.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open a chat and tap the + (plus) icon on iOS or the paperclip icon on Android.
  2. Choose “Location.”
  3. Select “Share Live Location.”
  4. Pick the duration: 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 8 hours.

To manage who sees your live location, go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Live Location.

Search all your WhatsApp Chat

To find a chat where you discussed a movie but can’t recall the person you spoke with, you can search your chats for the keyword ‘movie’ to locate the conversation and retrieve the film’s name.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Navigate to your chat list and tap the Search field on iOS or the Search icon on Android.
  2. Enter the term ‘movie’ or any other keyword you remember.
  3. A list of messages containing the search term will appear in reverse date order.
  4. Tap on a result to be taken directly to that specific message within the chat.

Search WhatsApp for a Specific Chat

If you need to search within a particular chat instead of all your chats, you can do that too. This can be helpful if you discussed a specific meeting place, exchanged contact numbers, or shared addresses, for instance.

For iOS:

  1. Open the chat you wish to search for and tap on the contact information at the top.
  2. Tap on the search button.
  3. Enter your search term.
  4. Tap on a result to navigate to that specific message.

For Android:

  1. Open the chat you want to search in and tap the menu icon.
  2. Select “Search.”
  3. Enter your search term.
  4. Choose a result to jump directly to that message.

Save Data Allowance

To prevent WhatsApp from using up your mobile data, especially if you have a limited allowance, you can adjust settings to ensure that media only downloads when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
  2. Choose “Storage and Data.”
  3. Under “Media Auto-Download,” set each option to Wi-Fi.

Turn on Disappearing Messages

Disappearing Messages feature automatically removes new messages from a chat after 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days. You can enable it for individual chats or all chats.

For specific chats:

iOS & Android:

  1. Open the chat you want to enable disappearing messages for.
  2. Tap on the contact name at the top.
  3. Select “Disappearing Messages.”
  4. Choose a Message Timer option from 24 hours to 90 days.

For all chats:

iOS & Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and access Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy.”
  3. Tap on “Default Message Timer.”
  4. Choose from 24 hours, 7 days, 90 days, or off.

Send a Disappearing Image or Video

You can send an image or video that disappears after the recipient views it once. However, keep in mind that the recipient can still take a screenshot of the media.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open the chat where you want to send the disappearing image or video.
  2. Tap the + (plus) icon on iOS or the paperclip icon on Android.
  3. Select “Camera” to take a photo or “Photos” to choose an existing photo or video.
  4. After selecting or capturing your media, tap the number 1 next to the send arrow.
  5. Finally, tap the blue send arrow to dispatch the media.

Require Face or Touch ID to Unlock WhatsApp

To safeguard your chats from unauthorized access, you can lock the entire WhatsApp app on iPhone, requiring Face ID or Touch ID for opening.

For iOS:

  1. Open WhatsApp and navigate to Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy.”
  3. Tap on “Screen Lock.”
  4. Toggle on “Require Face ID” or “Require Touch ID.”

Turn off Last Seen on your WhatsApp Account

WhatsApp’s Last Seen feature lets you know when someone last used the app. If a contact hasn’t disabled this feature, their last seen timestamp will appear under their name in a chat. You can configure who can see your Last Seen status or disable it altogether.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy.”
  3. Tap on “Last Seen & Online.”
  4. Choose your preference to allow everyone, only your contacts, exclude specific people, or disable the feature entirely.

Hide the Blue Tick on your WhatsApp Account

To avoid the potential issues caused by the blue ticks indicating when you’ve read a message, you can disable them. However, keep in mind that if you do, you won’t receive read receipts for your messages either.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and access Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy.”
  3. Turn off “Read Receipts.”

If you are an Apple user and you prefer not to disable read receipts entirely, you can circumvent the blue ticks by having Siri read the message for you. For Android users, reading messages directly from notifications prevents the sender from seeing the blue ticks.

Hide your Profile Picture on your WhatsApp Account

If you prefer to control who sees your profile picture on your WhatsApp account, especially in groups where you might not know everyone, or if you simply want to maintain a bit of mystery, you can customize your privacy settings. Here’s how:

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
  2. Select “Privacy.”
  3. Tap on “Profile Photo.”
  4. Choose from the options: “Everyone,” “My Contacts,” “My Contacts Except,” or “Nobody.”

Setting up a WhatsApp Community

To better manage busy group chats, you can consider setting up a community on WhatsApp. This feature allows you to organize multiple group chats under one main umbrella, enabling members to join only the chats that are relevant to them. It’s particularly useful for larger groups where a single chat becomes too cluttered.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and navigate to the Communities tab.
  2. Tap “New Community.”
  3. Tap “Get Started” and follow the prompts to set up your new community.

Take a Look at Channels on your WhatsApp Account

WhatsApp channels are broadcast channels where you can follow updates from people or organizations that interest you. For instance, if you’re a sports enthusiast, you might find a channel dedicated to your favorite team. These channels feature posts from the official accounts of various entities, allowing you to view updates without the option to reply.

Channels cover a wide range of topics, including brands, news outlets, sports teams, and more.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to the Updates tab.
  2. Tap the + (plus) icon next to Channels to add a channel.
  3. Search for the channel you want to add.
  4. Tap the + (plus) icon to add the channel.
  5. You’ll start receiving updates from this channel in the Updates tab.

Deleting a Specific Message within a Chat

Just like you can mark a particular message within a chat as important, you can also remove a specific message within a chat. Additionally, you have the option to “delete for everyone,” but remember, you must do this within two days. This time limit has been extended since the feature was first introduced.

When you choose to delete a message for everyone, a notification will appear in the chat stating that the message has been deleted. While this might raise suspicion, it could be preferable to leaving the original message intact.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open the chat containing the message you want to delete.
  2. Press and hold the message.
  3. Tap “Delete.”
  4. Select whether to delete it for yourself or for everyone in the chat.

Bookmarking Important WhatsApp Messages

Certain messages hold more significance than others, such as important dates or recommended restaurants. You can bookmark these messages for easy access in the Starred Messages section.

For iOS and Android:

  1. Open the chat containing the message you want to bookmark.
  2. Tap and hold the message.
  3. Select “Star.”
  4. To view your starred messages, tap Contact Info at the top of the screen or the menu icon on Android, then select “Starred Messages.”

Archive WhatsApp Chats on your Account

Archive Chat provides a way to conceal a conversation from your main chat screen without deleting it, aiding in chat organization. Archived chats remain accessible and can be restored whenever needed.

You can archive both group and individual chats, and they will remain hidden until you access the Archived Chats tab by pulling down from the top of the Chats display.

For iOS:

  1. Open WhatsApp and navigate to Chats.
  2. Swipe left on the chat you wish to archive.
  3. Select “Archive.”

For Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Chats.
  2. Long-press the chat you want to archive.
  3. Tap the Archive icon located at the top of the screen.

Pin a Chat to the Top

If you frequently chat with someone on WhatsApp, you can pin their chat to the top of your chat list for quick access.

For iOS:

  1. Open WhatsApp and go to Chats.
  2. Swipe right on the chat you wish to pin.
  3. Tap “Pin.”

For Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and navigate to Chats.
  2. Long-press the chat you want to pin.
  3. Tap the pin icon located at the top of the screen.

Mark a Chat as Unread

If you receive an important message but can’t reply immediately and want to remember to respond later, you can mark it as unread.

For iOS:

  1. Open your WhatsApp account and go to Chats.
  2. Find the chat containing the message you want to mark as unread and swipe right.
  3. Tap “Unread.”

For Android:

  1. Open WhatsApp and navigate to Chats.
  2. Long-press the chat with the message you want to mark as unread.
  3. Tap the Three Dots icon.
  4. Select “Mark as Unread.”

Speed up Playback of a Voice Message

You can accelerate the playback speed of a voice message by 1.5x or 2x, enabling you to listen to longer messages more quickly. This feature is straightforward to use and maintains the pitch of the speaker’s voice.

For both iOS and Android:

  1. Open a chat containing an audio message.
  2. Tap the play icon next to the voice message you wish to speed up.
  3. Tap the 1x icon that appears to increase it to 1.5x.
  4. Tap on 1.5x to further increase it to 2x.
  5. Tap the 2x icon to revert back to the original speed of 1x.

WhatsApp Hack to Send a Voice or Video Message

If you’re short on time or simply prefer not to type out a lengthy reply, WhatsApp offers the option to send voice messages or video messages to your contacts. This feature is especially convenient when you’re on the move and typing isn’t practical.

For both iOS and Android:

To send an audio message:

  1. Tap and hold the microphone icon located on the right side of the message box.
  2. Hold the microphone icon while recording your message.
  3. Release the microphone icon to send the audio message automatically.
  • Alternatively, swipe up while holding the microphone icon to lock audio recording.
  • Tap “pause” when finished, then tap the send arrow to send the audio message.

To send a video message:

  1. Tap the microphone icon, which will switch to a video camera icon.
  2. Tap and hold the video camera icon to record your video message.
  3. Lift your finger to send the video automatically.
  • Alternatively, swipe up while holding the video camera icon to lock recording.
  1. Tap the stop button when finished, then send your video message.

Emphasize Words on your WhatsApp Account

When certain words or phrases require emphasis beyond uppercase letters, WhatsApp enables you to format them as bold, italic, or strike through.

For both iOS and Android:

  • Bold: Add an asterisk (*) before and after the word or phrase.
  • Italic: Surround the word or phrase with underscores (_).
  • Strikethrough: Enclose the word or phrase with tildes (~).

Reply Privately to a WhatsApp Group Message

You can reply privately to a message from a group chat in your one-to-one conversation without needing to locate the specific chat with that individual.

For iOS:

  1. Press and hold a message in the group chat.
  2. Select “More.”
  3. Tap “Reply Privately.”
  4. Type your reply, and it will be sent in a one-to-one chat with the person you’re responding to.

For Android:

  1. Press and hold a message in the group chat.
  2. Tap the three-dot icon.
  3. Select “Reply Privately.”
  4. Type your reply, and it will be sent in a one-to-one chat with the person you’re responding to.

Reference and Reply to a Specific Message

WhatsApp enables you to reply directly to a specific message, displaying it above your response for clarity.

For iOS and Android:

  1. In a chat, tap and hold the message you wish to reply to.
  2. Select “Reply.”
  3. Enter your response.
  4. Tap the send arrow to post your reply.

Frequently Asked Questions about WhatsApp Features:

1. How can I manage busy group chats effectively?

  • WhatsApp offers the option to pin important chats to the top of your chat list for quick access. Additionally, you can archive less relevant chats to remove them from your main chat screen without losing them.

2. Can I mark messages as unread to remind myself to respond later?

  • Yes, you can mark messages as unread to prompt yourself to reply later. This feature is available on both iOS and Android devices.

3. Is it possible to format text in WhatsApp messages?

  • Absolutely! You can make text bold by enclosing it with asterisks (*), italicizing it with underscores (_), or striking through it with tildes (~).

4. How can I reply to a specific message in a group chat?

  • WhatsApp allows you to reply directly to a particular message in a group chat, making it easy for others to understand the context of your response. Simply tap and hold the message you want to reply to, then select “Reply” and compose your response.

5. Can I send voice or video messages on WhatsApp?

  • Yes, you can send both voice and video messages on WhatsApp. To send a voice message, tap and hold the microphone icon while recording your message. To send a video message, tap the microphone icon, which will switch to a video camera icon, and then record your message.

6. How can I protect my privacy on my WhatsApp account?

  • WhatsApp offers various privacy settings, including options to control who can see your profile picture, when you were last seen online, and whether read receipts are sent. You can customize these settings in the app’s privacy section.

7. Is there a way to speed up the playback of voice messages?

  • Yes, you can accelerate the playback speed of voice messages by 1.5x or 2x, allowing you to listen to longer messages more quickly. This feature is available on both iOS and Android devices.

8. How can I reply privately to a message in a group chat?

  • WhatsApp allows you to reply privately to a message from a group chat in your one-to-one conversation. Simply press and hold the message you want to reply to, then select “Reply Privately” and compose your response.

9. Can I customize who sees my profile picture on WhatsApp?

  • Yes, you can customize who can view your profile picture on your WhatsApp account, choosing from options such as everyone, only your contacts, or specific individuals. These settings can be adjusted in the app’s privacy section.

10. How do I access WhatsApp channels for updates from organizations and brands?

  • To follow WhatsApp Channels for updates from organizations and brands, tap the Updates tab in WhatsApp and then tap the “+” icon next to Channels to add a channel. You can then search for and subscribe to channels of interest.

Conclusion

In conclusion, WhatsApp offers a plethora of features designed to enhance your messaging experience, from organizing chats with pinned messages and archived conversations to emphasizing certain words with formatting options. Whether you’re managing busy group chats, sending voice or video messages on the go, or simply replying privately within a group, your WhatsApp account provides versatile tools to streamline your communication. With these capabilities at your fingertips, staying connected and expressing yourself effectively has never been easier.

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Christian Maximilian
Christian Maximilian

I am a Software Engineer, technical writer, and overall tech enthusiast. For me, utilizing my skills as a Software Engineer to perform Technical Search Engine Optimization is not just a job, but something I gladly incorporate into my pastimes as well, and I have been doing this for over 3 years.

When I'm not coding or writing technical documentation, I enjoy listening to music and exploring new genres.

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