WhatsApp is making it harder for strangers to stalk you


Meta‘s WhatsApp has been focusing on users’ privacy lately. The company rolled out new privacy tools earlier this month to further limit the digital trace we leave behind. The latest addition to privacy features is limiting who gets to view your Last Seen on the app. Currently, the app allows users to share their Last Seen status with Everyone, My contacts, or Nobody. The company is also testing a new My Contacts Except… option with beta users of the app on iOS and Android. Additionally, it seems like WhatsApp is now hiding users’ Last Seen from unsaved numbers that they haven’t chatted with before.

As WABetaInfo reports, some users have noticed that they can no longer view the Last Seen status of certain numbers. In a support email, the company states:


Thanks for your message.

To improve the privacy and security of our users, we’re making it harder for people you don’t know and haven’t chatted with from seeing your last seen and online presence on WhatsApp.

This will not change anything between you and your friends, family, and businesses who you know or have previously messaged.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help!

Some users depend on third-party apps to track the Last Seen statuses of other people on WhatsApp. This privacy-focused change will stop these apps from working — as users have never chatted with them or have their numbers saved. Once you save a number or initiate a chat with an unsaved one, your Last Seen will be revealed to them. The change further limits how other people — particularly strangers — can track you in the online world. The company might also remove the time limit on deleting messages for everyone down the road.

Which instant messaging (IM) app do you depend on the most? Let us know in the comments section below.