Updated: July 9, 2021 2:50:16 pm
WhatsApp by default allows anyone with your phone number to message you or add you to a group. This is similar to how anyone can send you an SMS or email if they have your contact information. But, you can change the privacy settings if you don’t want unknown users to add to you in a group.
Your WhatsApp group privacy setting is by default set to “Everyone,” which the company says will help you easily connect with those who are not in your contacts list. The privacy-conscious users do get the ability to control who can add them to a group by tweaking the WhatsApp Settings.
However, note that the changes you will make to group privacy settings “can’t be made on WhatsApp Web or Desktop, but the settings from your phone will be synced with WhatsApp Web and Desktop.”
How to change group privacy settings?
All the Android WhatsApp users can do this by visiting the Settings section > Account > Privacy > Groups. The iPhone users can go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups. When you tap on the Groups section, you will see three options, including “Everyone,” “My Contacts” and “My Contacts Except.”
The first option means that anyone including people outside of your phone’s address book contacts, can add you to groups without your consent. The second option means that the contacts that are listed in your phone’s address book can add you to groups without your approval.
“If a group admin who’s not in your phone’s address book tries to add you to a group, they’ll get a pop-up that says they can’t add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to Group or press Continue, followed by the send button, to send a private group invite through an individual chat,” WhatsApp said. Users will get three days to accept the invite before it expires.
The third option means that only contacts in your phone’s address book, except those you exclude, can add you to groups without your approval. You can exclude any contact after selecting the “My Contacts Except option.
If a group admin you exclude tries to add you to a group, they’ll get a pop-up that says they can’t add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to Group followed by the send button to send a private group invite through an individual chat. Here too, WhatsApp will give you three days to accept the invite before it expires.