WhatsApp finally hides last seen and online status from strangers

WhatsApp is rolling out a new privacy-focused update that will hide users’ last seen and online status from users that they have never chatted with or don’t have in their address book. This change not only applies to private user accounts but also business accounts.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp will stop showing last seen status to strangers 

The change was noticed by WABetaInfo, and some users inquired WhatsApp about why this has been implemented. WhatsApp calls this feature an attempt to improve the security and privacy of users by making it difficult for people who you don’t know or have not talked to, to see your last seen and online status.

https://twitter.com/NiHaolain/status/1468281924057763849?s=20

As WABetaInfo notes, there are many third-party apps in the App Store that log the last seen status and online status of WhatsApp contacts. This can be used for stalking users, which is simply an invasion of their privacy and security. The change by WhatsApp will theoretically stop this from happening, as third-party apps will not be able to appear as contacts that users actively communicate with, hence hiding their active status as well as last seen status from them.

WhatsApp users can still change their last seen status to show to select contacts, or to nobody at all. This can be changed from the privacy options in the app.

The new privacy change is gradually rolling out to WhatsApp beta users and should be available to all users in the coming weeks.

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