WhatsApp groups are a blessing for all. From buzzing family groups to coordinating with colleagues or planning a birthday party for a friend, WhatsApp groups make everything seamless and secure. On certain days though, we may have to deal with instances like being added to groups that aren't relevant to us or receiving unverified forwards. Challenging as might be, users can take control of their experience by using various safety features available on WhatsApp to ensure they remain protected while communicating with friends and family.
Here are the top safety features you should start using now:
1. Block and Report: Unlike traditional SMS, WhatsApp provides a simple way for users to block accounts and make reports to WhatsApp if they encounter problematic messages in individual or group chats. We encourage users to report problematic contacts to us. In addition, we now provide the option for people to keep reported messages on their phones if they want to share them with fact-checkers or law enforcement officials.
2. Forward Limits: In addition to limiting highly-forwarded messages to one chat at a time, which has resulted in a 70% reduction in this type of content across WhatsApp, we have also introduced new group forwarding limits where messages that have the "forwarded label" can only be forwarded to one group at a time, rather than five. If you are not sure of the source of a message, don't forward it.
3. Group Privacy Settings: On Whatsapp, only people with your phone number can add you to a group. WhatsApp's group privacy settings and group invite system allow users to decide who can add them to groups. Don't let anyone add you to any group without your permission. The three options let you choose – everyone can add you to a group, your contacts, or those you choose from your contacts.
4. Leave Group Silently: When you choose to exit a group silently, it will not notify everyone in the chat thread but only the group admins. This feature aims to help users feel more comfortable about leaving groups they no longer wish to be in.
5. Admin control: By default, any group participants can send messages and change the group information including, the group subject, icon, or description. However, WhatsApp settings enable administrators to decide who can send messages within groups.
6. Fact checking on WhatsApp: In India, there are 10 independent fact-checking organizations on WhatsApp that help users to identify, review, and verify the information and help prevent the spread of misinformation on its platform. Additionally, WhatsApp enables its users to verify the information by texting The Poynter Institute's IFCN WhatsApp chatbot to validate a message or information. WhatsApp encourages users to verify news that sounds suspicious or fake.
WhatsApp is an industry leader among end-to-end encrypted messaging services in preventing abuse and promoting online security. Committed to keeping you and your private messages safe, WhatsApp believes in empowering users with tools, features, and resources that help them make informed decisions and keep your communication safe and secure.