Being the most popular messaging app in the Western world, WhatsApp is the medium for a large portion of the world’s private conversations.
The app is useful for facilitating public and private conversation alike, thanks to its end-to-end encryption and powerful group chats.
If you prefer your conversations to stay hidden from the eye of anyone with physical access to your device, WhatsApp also has a few features which can help you maintain your privacy.
It is important to note that when it comes to protecting the personal information stored on your smartphone, the first line of defence is preventing access to your device entirely.
You can easily secure all the data on your device by enabling fingerprint unlock security or using another verification method, such as a PIN or unlock pattern.
If you would like additional protection for selected WhatsApp conversations, however, we have outlined some ways you can do this below.
Very often the easiest way to secure something is to hide it entirely, and WhatsApp allows you to do exactly this with whichever chats you choose.
Using the “Archive Chat” option, you can move a selected chat into a special folder within WhatsApp which is hidden from the main Chats interface.
This archived chat can be accessed later and can be restored to the standard Chats interface from the Archived Chats menu.
To archive a chat, simply tap and hold the chat you wish to hide, and select the Archive icon from the top bar.
Archived chats can be found at the bottom of the Chats screen, and users can unarchive chats in the same manner.
It is important to note that when you receive a new message from an archived chat, it will reappear in the main WhatsApp interface.
If you want to block access to single chats or your WhatsApp app altogether, you can try to lock chats behind a password or biometric authentication.
This is easier for iPhone users, who can simply lock their WhatsApp from being accessed without authentication through the app’s settings menu.
This can be done by navigating to Settings > Account > Privacy and changing a single menu option.
Android users have to rely on third-party applications to lock specific chats or hide their entire application behind another wall of security.
Popular apps for locking specific WhatsApp chats include programs like the often-recommended “Locker for Whats Chat App“, which could pose an additional security risk due to their third-party nature.
It may be a better choice to simply use a second version of WhatsApp on the same device for private conversations.
The best example of this is Huawei’s PrivateSpace feature – a built-in second operating system which is locked behind a unique PIN.
This is like having a second copy of your smartphone, and it allows you to install WhatsApp using a different account entirely.
It is apparent that if you simply want to hide your applications, using the native archive option is your best bet.
However, if you want to hide your private conversations behind as much obscurity and security as possible, Huawei’s PrivateSpace or Samsung’s Secure Folder applications are the best choices.