WhatsApp has successfully emerged as one of the most popular messaging apps all over the world. With more than 1.5 billion subscribers and counting, the chat app is the most preferred way to interact with friends, professionals and even send media across each other.

For this reason, the Facebook-owned messaging keeps adding a bevy of features on its Android and iOS devices to provide its customers with smooth messaging experience as well as certain privacy features to keep chats, media and other important information protected.

Choose who can view your status, profile photo:

Worried about who all can view your status updates and profile photo and even your stories? WhatsApp gives you the control to see who all can view your information. Selective information sharing is one of the pertinent privacy settings that WhatsApp offers for individual chats as well as for Groups.

Here is how you can customise what information gets shared across contacts and groups:

Go to Settings>Account>Privacy.

You will see these options: Last Seen, Profile Photo, About, Groups and Status. Choose among the options to enable who can view your information.

Groups and Status settings have an added option - My contacts except... - to further customise who among your saved WhatsApp contacts can view your status or add you in a group.

The last one is “Only Share With," meaning you can share your Status with a few selected friends.

Tap on any of the options to avail yourself of the privacy settings you need. You can choose from Everyone, My contacts, Nobody, whichever you prefer.

WhatsApp fingerprint lock:

An important privacy feature to give your chats an extra layer of protection from lurkers around. WhatsApp, last year, had added a fingerprint lock feature for its Android and iOS users. The feature supports both touch and face scanners.

To enable it on WhatsApp, go to Settings> Account> Privacy> Fingerprint lock. If you enable WhatsApp’s “Fingerprint Lock" feature, then it will ask you to authenticate your fingerprint or face ID stored in the OS.

Stop automatic downloads of received media files:

Tired of receiving unnecessary media from WhatsApp in your photos and videos gallery, which ultimately eats up all your phone's space? Being a part of a large group or having friends who send numerous amounts of memes has both pros and cons. Here's a way to disable automatic downloads of media:

For Android:

Go to Settings>Data and Storage Usage>Media Auto Download. There you will find three options: 'When using mobile data', 'When connected on Wi-Fi' an 'When roaming'.

You can choose which connection and what media you want the app to automatically download. You may prefer to choose photos, audio files, video and documents, all or none to be automatically downloaded.

For iOS:

Go to Settings>Chats>Save to Camera Roll. If you toggle off this option, no photos or videos will get automatically downloaded.

Point to note: This feature does not make it impossible for you to download the sent media. It just makes it manual. Once a media is sent, you can tap on the download arrow on the chats and view it.

Apart from this, the popular messaging app is reportedly nearing towards the roll-out the much-awaited Dark Mode and also its Delete Messages feature, which will automatically delete messages after a particular time period set by the user and make it look like the message never existed.

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