WhatsApp’s got another update on the way, this time choosing to focus on privacy in a big way. There are actually two new features to dive into, the first being a way for users to automatically silence spam calls, and something entirely new known as ‘Privacy Checkup’. According to the Meta-owned company’s announcement, protecting its user’s privacy “remains the driving force behind what we’re building at WhatsApp.” Yeah. Okay.
Spam, be gone!
Lawsuits aside, we’ve been keen to test the update’s spam call blocker since it was unearthed in the app’s beta program a few months ago. Dubbed ‘Silence Unknown Callers’, the feature is designed to automatically silence any calls from those unworthy enough to be in your contact list. The calls won’t ring, letting you get on with your day without any distractions. They will, however, still show up in your call list, just in case you actually were left some sort of hefty sum from an authentic Nigerian Prince.
Head over to whichever App Store you use, and make sure WhatsApp is up to date. You’ll find the setting lodged in the app here: Settings > Privacy > Calls > Silence unknown callers (Make sure this is ON). If your app is fully up to date and you don’t have the new feature installed, give it a day or two. WhatsApp’s probably working on pushing out an update as we speak.
Just a checkup, please
Joining the lineup is the new Privacy Checkup which is essentially just a quick tutorial to take users through some of the app’s more under-the-radar updates, like selecting who can contact you, who’s allowed to see your profile picture; that sort of thing.
You’ll find the Privacy Checkup in WhatsApp’s Settings > Privacy. At the top of your screen, you’ll see a banner asking you to ‘Start checkup.’ According to the platform, “Selecting ‘Start checkup’ in your Privacy settings will navigate you through multiple privacy layers that strengthen the security of your messages, calls, and personal information.” From there, follow the prompts, and get your security boosted.
Somebody grab the Doom
A recent Android bug affecting a limited number of WhatsApp users produced erroneous privacy indicators and notifications in the Android Privacy Dashboard.
Users can now update their WhatsApp app to address this issue.
We thank WhatsApp for their partnership and apologize…
— Android Developers (@AndroidDev) June 21, 2023
And, while we’re on the subject – remember that bug that recently plagued the messenger? The one that made users think the messenger was accessing their mics and collecting the data? We’ve finally got an update from the official Android Developers Twitter account, confirming that the bug has since been quashed.
“Users can now update their WhatsApp app to address this issue.”