It’s up to you to optimize your own online protection by modifying your software settings.
After WhatsApp has wanted to share your information with Facebook, many of you have to register for Signal or Telegram. Then, you’ve come back to WhatsApp to wait and see what’s going on when you find no friends there and feel a little lonely.
None of these messaging applications provides complete security. It is up to you to optimize your own online security by changing your app settings.
Privacy On WhatsApp
- You can still use WhatsApp if you change some settings and take some precautions. First, do not click on links and attachments that friends send to you, to prevent malicious contents, without checking the truth of the site. Most unwittingly forward links to dubious websites with a “received” note.
- Second, disable the option to save received images automatically in the phone gallery. Images may circulate malware.
- Third, get a two-stage check PIN. Turn off backups, finally. It no longer protects your chat with end-to-end encryption if you are backed up to Apple’s iCloud or Google Drive.
Privacy On Telegram
- The app will ask you to download Telegram to your phone and send you an SMS confirmation message. You don’t want your number to fall into the wrong hands.
- First, click the three lines in the upper left corner and select Settings. Go to Security and Privacy and add a passcode. Toggle on the two-stage check (2FA).
- Second, make every setting change from “everyone” to “my contacts” or “nobody” for all default settings. This reduces who can see your telephone number, who can see you last online, who can see your profile pictures, and who can add you to groups. Check from time to time your “active sessions” to see if a device other than a known one has logged into your account.
- If you are away for a while, you can also set “delete my account.” Turn on “Clear Payment Info” and “Shipping Info” under Bots and Websites.
Telegram provides secret chats that encrypt from device to device, but not for groups. Start a secret chat by selecting the secret chat from the down menu. Another interesting feature is that after reading, it has the option of self-destructive messages.
Privacy On Signal
While Signal is the safest of the three messaging apps, it has a few vulnerabilities that allow you to change some of the default settings.
- Activate the Registration Lock so that nobody can access the conversation history if your phone is stolen or hijacked.
- Next, set Screen Lock to biometric safety or passcode. Switch off “Previews” so that messages do not appear on the locked device screen.
- Activate Screen Security. Tap your profile—Privacy—Screen Security in Signal. When enabled, a blue Signal logo privacy screen will appear to cover your Signal text. This will also prevent Signal screenshots on your own device on Android.
- Make it your default SMS app on Android phones. This feature cannot be used on iPhones. SMS sent via Signal is not encrypted between Signal users as messages. But the other characteristics of the app will protect you.
Privacy On Facebook
Even if you don’t use the app, Facebook tracks all you do. You can see what you do on your phone on other apps.
You have to turn it off. Open Facebook settings by clicking on the three horizontal bars on your phone. Scroll down to Privacy and Settings and then back to Settings. Tap Off-Facebook Activity under Your Facebook Information.
The off-Facebook activity contains information that companies and organizations, such as visits to their applications or websites, share with Facebook. The list of these visits will appear and shock you.
Clear the story straight away. Tap Additional Options and Manage Future Activity. Click Manage Future Activity again in the next window.
Turn off Future Off-Facebook Activity on the next screen. These settings are deep within Facebook, so that people rarely see them. But you know now.
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