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Home / Technology / App News /  Stop unknown WhatsApp groups from adding you. Here's how

WhatsApp users can be added to a group easily, even by users they do not know or who are not in their contact list. However, WhatsApp does have a privacy feature that allows users to decide the amount of privacy they require. 

On default privacy settings, any WhatsApp user with your number can add you to a group chat. By default, the WhatsApp group privacy settings are set to 'Everyone'. Additionally, there are two more options provided by WhatsApp in the Settings.

In order to access these settings and change group privacy level:

Go to WhatsApp Settings:

Android: Tap More options > Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups.

iPhone: Tap Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups.

KaiOS: Press Options > Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups.

Here are the three options that a user has: 

Everyone: Everyone, including people outside of your phone's address book contacts, can add you to groups without your approval.

My Contacts: Only contacts in your phone's address book can add you to groups without your approval. If a group admin who's not in your phone's address book tries to add you to a group, they'll get a pop-up that says they can't add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to Group or press Continue, followed by the send button, to send a private group invite through an individual chat. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.

My Contacts Except...: Only contacts in your phone’s address book, except those you exclude, can add you to groups without your approval. After selecting My Contacts Except… you can search for or select contacts to exclude. If a group admin you exclude tries to add you to a group, they’ll get a pop-up that says they can’t add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to Group followed by the send button to send a private group invite through an individual chat. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.

These changes to group privacy settings can’t be made on WhatsApp Web or Desktop, but the settings from your phone will be synced with WhatsApp Web and Desktop.

To provide additional privacy, WhatsApp also allows users to block contacts for individual chats. However, blocked contacts cannot be stopped from interacting with the user in a group. 

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