As great as WhatsApp is for multiuser chats, there has always been one feature useful for chat administrators and intolerable for the rest. The one who created the chat could add other users without their consent. This vulnerability was heavily abused by spammers and people not sensible enough to appreciate your privacy.
Now it’s here no more. The update available for both iOS and Android lets you select who can invite you to group chats.
How to Control Group Invitation Policy
If this feature matters to you, and you do want to block unwanted invitations, do the following:
- Launch your WhatsApp;
- Go to Settings and then to “Account” menu;
- Tap “Privacy”;
- Select “Groups” section;
- Under “Who can add me to groups” select “My Contacts”.
If you’re suffering from someone particular inviting you to unwanted chats, but don’t want to block them completely, you better opt for “My Contacts Except…” and select the annoying contacts, blocking them from inviting you to group dialogs. Still, they have a chance to invite you to their groups via a personal invitation, but you are free to accept or decline it within three days. If you don’t make up your mind, the invitation is declined automatically.
How to Get This Update
It must be available worldwide starting today. Last month it was rolled out in India only, but it could have made it to the news and cause some misunderstanding. Now it’s no more a problem: the update is available for everyone. You can install it manually… or find out that you already have it if you have enabled automatic updates.
Why It’s So Important
Some might think that unwanted chats are just annoying, but not really harmful. The situation can change, though, when it comes to money. There are at least two innovations that require security enhancements in the nearest future.
The first of them is WhatsApp Pay, a payment system ready to launch in some countries (first of all India that receives most updates ahead of the others). The second is Libra, a cryptocurrency by Facebook that has made so much ado. Both innovations, though, are delayed.
When WhatsApp becomes your wallet, security will matter like never before. Group chats may be a fraud tool, too, so another control option comes just in time.
What’s Up with You?
Do you use WhatsApp? Would you trust it with your money? And how often have you been invited to chats you didn’t want to join? Tell us your story.