Folks, come on, be better. Stop spreading rubbish in your WhatsApp groups. There’s a message doing the rounds that suggests WhatsApp changed your privacy settings. They didn’t.

Concerns about user privacy and the big tech giants over-reach on our data rightly have loads of people on edge, and that’s what’s driving this latest message to go viral.

Here’s what it looks like:

WhatsApp changed privacy settings last night.This means this group and all other groups you are in are now open to everyone. So please change your settings. Here’s some background and how to change your settings.

WhatsApp settings were updated last night without warning.
Its group settings include “everyone” by default so people you don’t know can add you to a group without you ever knowing.  These may include scammers, loan sharks etc……..

You can change the default settings as follows:
    1. Go to WhatsApp:
    2. Go into Settings
    3. Go to Account
    4. Go to Privacy
    5.  Go to Groups
    6.  Change from (Everyone) to (My Contacts)

I checked mine and they had all changed to being all open to everyone.

Please share with your other groups.

The thing is, when you go into those settings, you can see that it IS set to everyone. But that’s not new. It’s always been that way.

The setting for group privacy was introduced in 2019, and by default it was set to Everyone.

Why? Have a think about all those groups you’re in. Workplace groups, kids sport, whatever it might be – there’s a bunch of people in there you don’t know. You might not even know the group organiser – the kids Netball Coach. Well, you know them, but you don’t have their number saved in your phone.

How would they add you to the group, if you have the group set to “My Contacts”. But, for those of us who don’t want to be added to random groups, you can choose that setting.

EFTM reached out to WhatsApp for comment, and a spokesperson confirmed “WhatsApp has always allowed anyone with your phone number to message you or add you to a group, just like anyone can send you a SMS message or an email if they have your contact information. In 2019 we added new controls for those who wanted to set limits on who could add them to groups”

So please, please, don’t spread these kinds of messages, they just create unnecessary fear and doubt.