Whatsapp is one of the most popular chat applications in the world. It has millions of daily users who exchange messages via private or group chats. With end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp is a great and mostly secure communication service. However, as with any communication you send over the internet, there are always security threats, especially when it comes to trusting other people. Wouldn’t it be great to use the same Snapchat feature that alerts you when someone takes a screenshot? Apple thought so with FaceTime, with messages disappearing on Instagram. So, does WhatsApp have the same feature?
Unfortunately, you don’t get notifications when someone takes a screenshot of your message. After a big controversy, the latest security patch has allowed users to ban screenshots from their chats. Let’s see what it is and why this is the best thing to do.
Taking Conversation Screenshots Without Restrictions
Many people use WhatsApp every day to talk to their friends and family members. The app is free and you only need a Wi-Fi connection to send and receive messages. Unlike some other popular chat apps, WhatsApp allowed users to take screenshots of their private conversations.
This meant that if you wanted to keep your chats private, you had to be careful with what you said. We’ve seen many examples of private chats going viral on WhatsApp because someone posted screenshots online. This definitely made some people very unhappy. There’s a reason these chats are private. Some things should remain private, away from the prying eyes of the public.
Not all screenshots were taken to make fun of other people. Some users want special moments to last forever so they take screenshots for their special collection. These people are the ones who are not happy with the new security feature that completely blocks all screenshots.
However, this new security measure is smart because you won’t have to worry about your secrets being public. The only way someone can share your words is to show the conversation on their phone and that’s it. The days of waking up and seeing your chat messages all over the web are over.
New Security Features
New security features allow you to prevent others as well as yourself from taking screenshots of private conversations. However, it is not turned on by default. You will need to navigate through the settings to enable this feature. Otherwise, people can take screenshots of your conversations.
Whatsapp should receive a notification update to deal with this issue in the first place. Instagram has taken this approach and the update seems to be working fine.
The new feature is currently in testing, but should be released soon enough and we’ll update the article as soon as it’s available. It allows users to add an extra layer of security to every private conversation by setting up fingerprint access. This means that only you and the person on the other end of the conversation can see the messages.
The security feature prevents taking screenshots, so even you cannot capture your chat messages. Whether or not this feature will become available to all users or will be discontinued depends on the currently split user feedback.
What Are Users Saying?
Many WhatsApp users were stunned by the new feature. Some let them know how it works and completely block taking screenshots, while others are unaffected by fingerprint verification.
Fingerprint blocking is already available for iOS users, but that hasn’t stopped other users from taking screenshots.
What Can I Do To Keep My Account More Secure?
As mentioned earlier, the main risk to the security of your account is other people. For example, do not send anything to anyone that you do not want everyone to see. Yes, you probably trust that person, but what if you break up? Not to mention the legal ramifications of certain messages in case something bad happens.
So the first thing you should do to keep your communications private is to avoid anything that someone doesn’t feel comfortable sharing.
Of course, this isn’t always possible, so there are some things you can do to take control of your privacy.
Delete the messages
One of the best things about Whatsapp is its ability to control your content. You can retract whether the other user has already opened your message or not. Long press the message and tap the trash icon.
Click ‘DELETE FOR ALL’ and the message will disappear. The recipient will still receive a notification that something has been removed, but will not know what was removed.
You can block contacts using the Account and Privacy options in Whatsapp. Take advantage of this tool if there is someone you no longer want to interact with. Simply tap on ‘Blocked’ and add the person to be removed.
Unfortunately, even if you block someone, they can still see your past messages (though not). You will still need to delete all your messages for them to disappear from the other user’s phone.
Enhanced Security Is Not Enough
Looks like WhatsApp hasn’t thought about security updates long enough. The new screenshot blocking feature doesn’t work as promised, but it’s still in testing. As a result, app developers are aware of the privacy issues associated with taking screenshots of conversations and are working on a fix. However, it remains to be seen whether the fingerprint blocking feature will be in the next official release.
Have you ever shared a screenshot of a private conversation with your friends? What do you think of the new security features? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.