Activate these three new WhatsApp features to stay secure this year

One of the world's most popular encrypted messaging apps, WhatsApp offers secure private messaging to anyone who needs it.

Since coming under fire last year for proposing controversial changes to its privacy policy, the team behind WhatsApp has been working hard to reassure users that its app is secure.

To do that, they've added tons of new features which will help you keep your messages away from prying eyes, including an app-only screen lock, Face ID, disappearing messages, and two-step authentication.

Here's how you can get the most out of your WhatsApp and keep it secure throughout the rest of 2022.

Activate Face ID or screen lock on WhatsApp to keep your chats secure

If you frequently share your phone with your kids, partner, or anyone else, you might still have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

WhatsApp now lets you add a screen lock to the app itself, meaning that even if someone unlocks your phone, you can add an extra layer of protection.

To activate it, head to WhatsApp settings then > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock. You just need to turn the setting on and then choose a duration time for when the app will require touch or face ID or a lock code.

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Turn on two-step verification on WhatsApp

Although WhatsApp is fully end-to-end encrypted, your account can still be a target for hackers.

One of the best ways of securing your chat app against prying eyes is to activate two-step verification.

This is commonly used by many different social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

It essentially forces you to give not only the correct password when you log in, but an additional secure code that only your device can receive.

To activate two-step verification, just go to your WhatsApp settings, hit Account, then follow the instructions on the two-step verification page.

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How to activate disappearing messages on WhatsApp

One of the most-requested features on WhatsApp has long been disappearing messages.

First popularised by Snapchat, this feature gives your messages a 'self-destruct' timer which means they'll vanish after a set period of time.

This is very useful if you want to ensure your messages stay private, and it could even encourage your contacts to read them more.

WhatsApp's take on disappearing messages lets you set a timer of 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days after sending a message.

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Once you activate it, it will only affect new messages going forward, not any you've sent before.

To activate disappearing messages, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings on WhatsApp by tapping the three dots in the corner of the app screen
  2. Then, tap Account > Privacy > Default message timer
  3. Now, select the length of time you want your messages to stick around for

It's worth remembering that people can still forward, copy, or screenshot your messages before they disappear, so be careful.

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