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Help Article | How to stay safe on WhatsApp

The safety and security of you and your messages matter to us. We want you to know about the tools and features we've designed to help you stay safe while using WhatsApp.

Our Terms of Service
One way we help you stay safe on WhatsApp is through our Terms of Service. Our Terms of Service outline prohibited activities, which include sharing content (in the status, profile photos, or messages) that's illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, intimidating, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or instigates or encourages conduct that would be illegal, or is otherwise inappropriate or violates our Terms of Service. We'll ban a user if we believe that user is violating our Terms of Service.
For more information or examples of activities that violate our Terms of Service, please review the “Acceptable Use of Our Services” section of our Terms of Service. You can also learn more about account bans here.
Be mindful of what you share
We encourage you to think carefully before you decide to share something with your WhatsApp contacts. Consider whether you would want others to see what you've sent.
When you share a chat, photo, video, file or voice message with someone else on WhatsApp, they'll have a copy of these messages. They'll have the ability to forward or share these messages with others if they choose to. For information about view once, read this article.
WhatsApp also has a location feature that you can use to share your location in a WhatsApp message. You should only share your location with people you trust.
Learn more about how to use WhatsApp responsibly in this article.
Safety and security features
On WhatsApp, we've created some basic controls that you can adjust as you see fit to help you stay safe.
Privacy settings
Adjust your privacy settings to control who sees your information. You can set your last seen, profile photo, about, or status to the following options:
  • Everyone: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status will be available to all WhatsApp users.
  • My Contacts: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status will be available to your contacts from your address book only.
  • My Contacts Except…: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status will be available to your contacts from your address book, except those you exclude.
  • Nobody: Your last seen, profile photo, about, or status won't be available to anyone.
Learn about these privacy settings on: Android | iPhone
Read receipts
You can also turn off read receipts. If you turn off read receipts, you won't send or receive read receipts. Keep in mind, read receipts are always sent for group chats, even if you turn off the option in your privacy settings. Learn more about read receipts on AndroidiPhone, or KaiOS.
Learn about these privacy settings on: Android | iPhone
Block or report contacts and messages
We encourage you to report problematic content and contacts to us. You can control who you interact with by blocking specific contacts or reporting messages or contacts on WhatsApp. When you receive a view once photo or video, you can report the account to us directly from the media viewer. Learn what happens when you use our block and report features, and how to do this, in this article.
Additional safety resources
If you feel you or anyone else is in immediate danger, please contact your local emergency services.
If you believe someone wishes to hurt themselves and you're concerned for their safety, please contact your local emergency services or a suicide prevention hotline.
If you receive or encounter content indicating that a child is being abused or exploited, please contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). You can also report the user. Learn more about reporting here. Please do not include any screenshots of the content in your report.
Related resources


WhatsApp Features


Simple, Reliable Messaging

Message your friends and family for free*. WhatsApp uses your phone's Internet connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees

* Data charges may apply. Contact your provider for details.


Groups to keep in touch

Keep in touch with the groups of people that matter the most, like your family or coworkers. With group chats, you can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once. You can also name your group, mute or customize notifications, and more.



Keep the Conversation Going

With WhatsApp on the web and desktop, you can seamlessly sync all of your chats to your computer so that you can chat on whatever device is most convenient for you. Download the desktop app or visit to get started



Speak Freely

With voice calls, you can talk to your friends and family for free*, even if they're in another country. And with free* video calls, you can have face-to-face conversations for when voice or text just isn't enough. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone's Internet connection, instead of your cell plan's voice minutes, so you don't have to worry about expensive calling charges.

* Data charges may apply. Contact your provider for details.



Security by Default

Some of your most personal moments are shared on WhatsApp, which is why we built end-to-end encryption into the latest versions of our app. When end-to-end encrypted, your messages and calls are secured so only you and the person you're communicating with can read or listen to them, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.


Share Moments that Matter

Send photos and videos on WhatsApp instantly. You can even capture the moments that matter to you most with a built-in camera. With WhatsApp, photos and videos send quickly even if you're on a slow connection.



Document Sharing Made Easy

Send PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more, without the hassle of email or file sharing apps. You can send documents up to 100 MB, so it's easy to get what you need over to who you want.


Say What's On Your Mind

Sometimes, your voice says it all. With just one tap you can record a Voice Message, perfect for a quick hello or a longer story.



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