If you’re using WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram, you’ll need to change these security settings

Cyber ​​security specialist Zak Doffman shared his tips for users to better protect their data on WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.

6 min read

If you’re using WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram, you’ll need to change these security settings
If you’re using WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram, you’ll need to change these security settings

After Whatsapp announced the update of its guidelines to share data with Facebook, millions of users migrated to others Messaging apps. The two favorites were telegram and signalto offer more privacy, apparently. However, none of the three are completely reliable unless you change certain ones Security settings to better protect yours information.

The cyber security expert Zak Doffman States that Telegram and Signal promise more privacy than traditional platforms. However, exactly how Whatsapphave important settings that are not predetermined and that need to be changed now.

After these platforms became increasingly popular, the specialist shared his recommendations to configure the devices so that our data is less accessible.


In this app Messages are encrypted end-to-end and only users have access to the content. Doffman says so, however “The problem is that Metadata: who, when and where in relation to your Messagesas well as your contacts and Information about your device“”.

“WhatApp can still be used […] However, it is necessary to change this basic configuration to ensure security. “said the Forbes specialist.

  • Avoid malicious content that you receive, like unknown links and attachments.
  • Disable the automatic save option the received images in the phone gallery.
  • Receive the PIN number offered by “Two Step Verification”.To prevent hackers from hijacking your account with hoaxes.
  • Turn off backups. While messages are protected when they are sent, “If you use the option Whatsapp to secure your chat history in the cloud from Apple or Googlethese copies are not protected by this end-to-end encryption. “warned the cybersecurity expert.

“We want to address some rumors and be 100% clear. We continue to protect your private messages with end-to-end encryption.”WhatsApp posted a few days ago on his official Twitter account.


Just like in WhatsApp and SignalWhen you access this, enter for the first time telegram You need to enter a phone number on a device. Then you will be asked to write the confirmation message sent by SMS. The problem is when someone steals that code “It can hijack your account and access your content.”he specified Doffman in another article for Forbes.

To be sure telegramThe analyst recommends the following changes:

  • Enable two-step verification (2FA). Go to Settings, enter the “Privacy and Security” section, add a password and that’s it!
  • Change your privacy settings. In the “Privacy” section, select that only your contacts can communicate with you and no one else. You can also restrict who can see your profile, whether your status (online) and your last connection are shown, or who can add you to groups.
  • Use a ‘Lock code ‘. Keeping your chats safe is important when anyone other than you has access to your device.
  • Regularly check the active sessions in your account. This way you can make sure that no one has entered from another device.
  • Secret chats and end-to-end encryption. Telegram offers “secret chats” that offer encryption from device to device, but does not work for groups. To start a secret chat, go to the normal chat with your contact, click on the three dots under Android or “more” under iOS and select “Start secret chat”.
  • Activate self-destruction. Another attraction of this app is that it has the ability to destroy messages shortly after they are viewed.


It has more or less the same pros and cons as Telegram, with the difference that Elon Musk himself recommended the use of Signal. Of course, this application is not risk-free either and it is recommended to change some settings:

  • Activate the ‘Registration lock ‘. This will prevent someone else from accessing your conversation history in the event your account is stolen or hijacked.
  • Set the ‘Screen lock’ through biometric security or an access code.
  • Turn off the preview. This way the messages will not appear on the main screen of the device.
  • Disable screenshots outside the app.
  • Make it your default text messaging app. Doffman shared this trick for Android users as it makes messaging more secure and encrypted as opposed to traditional.

Final advice

Doffman explained that Whatsapp collect a lot more Data What Telegram or iMessage, but They are few compared to others Apps, as Facebook, Messenger, Google, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. “If you don’t avoid these others, WhatsApp isn’t your biggest problem.”added.

The expert warns against this “There’s a much bigger problem”in terms of the plans Facebook to the Integrate WhatsApp in Messenger and Instagram. “The idea is to create one large courier giant interoperable that brings all your target groups together “, explained in the same publication. He added that it would be “Much more serious” for user privacy as the last update.

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