WhatsApp, how to keep your chats secret

If you are afraid of being spied on and need to hide your chats on WhatsApp you have two options: the Archive function or install an ad hoc app

Applications like WhatsApp are a constant danger to user privacy. All it takes is a moment of distraction to find ourselves with our smartphone in the hands of our friend, brother, sister or work colleague who is reading all our chats on WhatsApp.

A gesture that should never be done, but that unfortunately is repeated every day. A real attack on a person's privacy, since in WhatsApp chats there are all our personal data. If you are afraid that some of your friends or relatives may sneak up on your smartphone and spy on your conversations on WhatsApp, you should know that there are simple tricks that allow you to keep your chats secret and keep away those who like to snoop. You have two options: use WhatsApp's Archive feature or install an app locker, which is a tool that allows you to enter a password to access an application. Here's how to hide chats on WhatsApp.

How to archive a WhatsApp chat on Android

To keep a WhatsApp conversation a secret on Android you need to use the Archive feature. This will make the chat disappear from the app's home and hide in a "secret" folder. To archive a WhatsApp conversation on Android you must launch the application, select the chat and press the down arrow icon in the top right corner. In this way the conversation will be moved to an ad hoc folder, present at the end of the chats. The archiving, however, has a short duration: as soon as you receive a new message, the conversation will return to appear among the active chats. To make sure it stays down, you need to block the user with whom you are exchanging messages. Blocking a person on WhatsApp is very simple: just go inside the conversation, press on the icon with three vertical lines in the top right corner and then on More. A new menu will appear from which to select Block. If we want to return to talk with our friend you can remove him from the list of blocked: you must enter in Settings, press on Account, then on Privacy and finally on Blocked Contacts. A tab will open with a list of unblocked users: to remove the ban you must select the person and press Unblock.

How to archive a WhatsApp conversation on the iPhone

Also on the WhatsApp application for iOS you can archive a chat to hide it from prying eyes. The process is slightly different than the one just seen for Android. To hide a conversation, you need to launch the app, select the chat and swipe from right to left and press the Archive button that will be shown on the side. At this point the chat will be moved down to the "archived conversations" folder. If you want to move it back to the top, you'll have to do the reverse procedure: you'll have to select it, swipe from right to left and press the Extract button.

As it happens on Android, if the user of the chat we have archived comes back to write to us, the conversation will go back to "normal" conversations. To leave the chat at the bottom you will have to block the user. To do this you have to enter the Favorites section, press the "i" icon next to the person you want to block and then "Block this contact". If we want to remove the ban we have to enter the Settings, then press on Account, Privacy and finally on Blocked. It will open a list with a series of names and you will have to swipe from right to left on the person you want to unblock.

Insert an access password

If you think that storing conversations is not enough to keep your friends and family away from your smartphone, you can insert an access password to WhatsApp. There are some apps on the Google Play Store and the App Store that only have this function: they allow you to protect the data inside an app by entering a numeric code. But how do they work? If a friend of ours steals our smartphone to snoop around inside WhatsApp conversations, he'll have to know the password, otherwise he won't be able to access.

One of the best apps on Android is Norton App Lock, made by the same company that develops cyber security solutions. For iOS users, the matter is a bit more complicated. In order to install an app locker, you need to jailbreak your iPhone, a practice banned by Apple and which invalidates the warranty.