WhatsApp logo

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps around. Unfortunately, with that comes many security issues, including strangers tracking your online status. Thankfully, the company is making it so your online status is hidden by default.

According to WABetaInfo, both the Android and iOS WhatsApp apps will make it so your “Last seen” status is only visible to contacts. Previously, anyone could see when you were last online, which made it a lot easier for strangers to stalk you. This change provides a nice extra layer of security for users of the chat app.

Following the report from WABetaInfo, the company’s support team confirmed the change on Twitter.

Changing your online status visibility to contacts only isn’t new. The change is that it’ll now be the default, meaning you won’t have to go to the app’s settings to hide your online status from strangers. Instead, you’ll need to go to the settings if you want to let everyone see whether you’re online or not.

There are entire apps designed to use publicly available online statuses from WhatsApp to track users, so thankfully, those apps will be rendered useless by this change.

This is an excellent change for WhatsApp. It’ll make using the app more secure without removing any critical functionality from its users, which is really all you can ask for.

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
Read Full Bio »