Who has WhatsApp group for medical preparation

Whatsapp: change of group setting? That's behind the chain letter

A chain letter is making the rounds millions of times these days and is causing uncertainty. What is really behind it.

Has Whatsapp secretly changed the privacy settings? A chain letter suggests that.

Photo: Panthermedia.net/diy13

It is perhaps something like love-hate speech - or rather a constant weighing of skepticism and benefit: Whatsapp is still one of the most popular messenger services, although the service regularly causes displeasure among many. Privacy advocates regularly draw attention to problems with Whatsapp.

And - in the opinion of critics - changes to terms of use that are not exactly transparent do not necessarily increase trust in the Facebook subsidiary Whatsapp. Now a chain letter is causing a stir, which has been sent millions of times these days and which is still fueling skepticism.

Also read:Whatsapp Web: How to use Messenger on the desktop

Has Whatsapp secretly changed group settings? That's behind the chain letter

These days, a chain message is circulating in numerous Whatsapp groups, but also at Signal - a service to which many WhatsApp critics have recently migrated - according to which Whatsapp is said to have secretly changed its privacy settings for chat groups. In the chain letter, which is on the way in different text versions, it says, for example:

WhatsApp has changed the group settings to “Everyone” by default, so that people you don't know can add you to a group without you knowing (sic!). Possible backgrounds can be fraudulent messages, rental sharks, etc.

In a modified version the text reads:

This means that any WhatsApp user - even if you don't know them - can add you to any group without your knowledge and without your consent.

Messages of this kind are currently circulating on Whatsapp and other messengers.

Photo: screenshot

It is not known where the news originated. This also applies to their purpose. One thing is clear: you are quite nonsense. In fact, there was no secret change to privacy settings. Rather, the group setting is standard - even if many users might not have this on their screen.

Whatsapp function has been around since 2019

Whatsapp had introduced the additional data protection options for group chats in 2019 - to prevent invitations from strangers and spam groups. Until then, it was indeed possible to be packed into all sorts of groups without consent. The only option for affected users: Leave the group and block the relevant contact. With the function introduced at the time, the addition of such spam groups can be prevented prophylactically if the settings are adjusted accordingly.

Also read:Whatsapp: This is how you easily free up the cell phone memory

This is how you increase your protection in Messenger

Because as described in the chain letter, the basic setting for Whatsapp is "Everyone". This can be changed as follows:

  • Open the settings in Whatsapp via the three-point menu
  • Tap on "Account"
  • Select the item "Data protection"
  • Select "Groups" (at the bottom)
  • Here you can choose who can add you: "Everyone", "My contacts" or "My contacts except ..." (you can exclude certain contacts here).

Also read:Clubhouse: How to get an invitation

The only criticism of Whatsapp in this special case is that the default setting is not immediately set to "My Contacts": That the Facebook subsidiary does not immediately offer the safest option and users have to rummage through the menu to increase their own protection, is not very comfortable.

More interesting facts about Whatsapp:

From a data protection point of view, the messenger is still not entirely undisputed. Again and again there were reports that hackers can easily read WhatsApp despite encryption.

Here you can find out how to make calls with Whatsapp.

A contribution from:

  • Peter Seven

    Peter Sieben is content manager and responsible editor for ingenieur.de. After an internship at the Funke media group, he worked as an editor and reporter in various departments. He writes about technology, research and career topics.