Why you need to delete WhatsApp profile photo

In recent days, many users are in the grip of WhatsApp profile photo psychosis. However, it is not always necessary to delete it: here's what to do

If for a few days you can no longer see the profile photo of some of your contacts on WhatsApp, do not be alarmed: it is not a bug of the instant messaging application. On the contrary, these days there are many WhatsApp users who have decided to voluntarily delete their profile photo. The reason? As usual, it has to do with a WhatsApp privacy issue.

Since always, WhatsApp's privacy policy has allowed any user to see and take a screenshot of the image of any profile, as long as they have the relevant phone number. This facilitates identity theft. This is by no means news, but in recent days a sort of profile picture screenshot psychosis has spread, leading thousands of users to remove the image. Psychosis that follows the latest privacy scandal on WhatsApp: in recent weeks, a (yet another) major vulnerability was discovered that allowed a hacker to install the spyware "Pegasus" on the user's smartphone and able to activate the phone's camera and microphone, steal the email and message list and collect many more of our personal data.

Why delete profile picture on WhatsApp (and why not)

The fact that almost anyone can steal our profile picture can lead, effectively, to the theft of our identity. Removing the profile picture from WhatsApp, therefore, is not a foolish move. There is, however, an alternative, which protects us from identity theft without forcing us to remove the photo: by accessing the privacy settings of WhatsApp, in fact, we can choose to make our profile photo visible only to contacts that we have in our address book. To do this you must go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Profile picture and choose My contacts. In this way, the eventual identity thief, it will not be enough to know our phone number to see and save the photo that portrays us.

WhatsApp tightens on privacy

The company of Mark Zuckeberg is well aware of the many privacy problems from which WhatsApp suffers. Also for this reason, periodically, it tries to close the barn after the oxen have fled by tightening a bit the rules and settings related to personal data. From the next version of the app, for example, it will no longer be possible to download the profile picture of our WhatsApp contacts (not even if we are in their address book). Even then, though, it's little more than a stopgap: anyone will be able to take a screenshot of our photo.