While SMS was once the most popular messaging platform, it’s safe to say that honor might belong to WhatsApp now. Now that it’s completely free for all, encrypted for security, and full of hidden tricks, a lot of people are drawn to it.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t want to look under the hood a bit before using WhatsApp. Read receipts, which let other users know that you’ve seen their message, are enabled by default. Depending on how you look at it, this could be good or bad.
There are benefits to being able to alert someone that you’ve seen their message without replying. However, you also might want the ability to ignore a message without the other party wondering why you didn’t respond. Gaining a bit of a cloak in WhatsApp is thankfully easy to enable.
On iOS or Android, open WhatsApp and tap on the three-dot menu in the upper right. Head to Settings > Account > Privacy for a variety of privacy options. The one we’re interested in is Read receipts, which you can disable by unchecking its box. Group conversations do not apply to this setting.
For the web version of WhatsApp, there’s no native option. If this is a concern for you, try out the Firefox extension ShutApp [No Longer Available], which allows you to toggle the suppression of receipts. It’s marked as being in beta and has few reviews, so it’s not well-known but is worth a shot.
Don’t trust WhatsApp? Check out alternative secure messaging apps.
Do you like the convenience of read receipts, or would you rather be invisible? Let us know in the comments!
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