How Safe Are My Photos on WhatsApp?
Whatsapp Pinterest

Millions of people use WhatsApp 7 Powerful Services You Can Use In WhatsApp 7 Powerful Services You Can Use In WhatsApp WhatsApp started as a cross-platform instant messaging client, but has since gone on to add a host of new features. Here are some of the most powerful new services to be added. Read More to send pictures, messages, and other confidential information to friends and family members around the world. The amount of people who use WhatsApp suggests that many people find it safe, or safe enough.

But what else should you know about WhatsApp’s security?

whatsapp phone

Defining Safety

First things first, let’s discuss the term safe. Since safe is such an ambiguous term and means something entirely different to different people, I’m going to assume from now on that safe means protected, in that your pictures, messages, and other information are not easily accessible from a third-party observer, whether that’s your brother or sister in the next room or a hacker across the way.


So, with the definition set,  let’s discuss whether WhatsApp is safe, or safe enough. Again, meaning that your info is secure from prying eyes.

WhatsApp Safety Measures Explained

WhatsApp says it continually protects your data and content against would-be prying eyes and hackers, stating on its website that they use safeguards to preserve the security of your personal information and that messages sent over its network are encrypted WhatsApp Encryption: It's Now the Most Secure Instant Messenger (Or is it?) WhatsApp Encryption: It's Now the Most Secure Instant Messenger (Or is it?) Since being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp has been forced to clean up its approach to security and privacy, which resulted in the news last year that it has introduced new encryption measures. Read More , which means any information you send is reverted to code to prevent against unauthorized access.

This is key. Even with good encryption, a hacker would be hard-pressed to obtain your data.

WhatsApp also recommends not using unprotected Wi-Fi or other networks to send messages, as doing so could result in third-party hackers obtaining your information.

This is also a key point and one that users should be most aware about, as it appears that most hacking is done through third-party applications.

security lock

Its website states that it cannot guarantee against any such breach if one were to occur, but will notify the recipient if an event does happen. These are necessary legalities for such an expansive application.

Further still, and this is also very important, WhatsApp claims it does not store any messages — including your photos — on its servers. It only does so until your message is sent to the receiving phone. If the recipient of the message doesn’t receive the message after 30 days, the message will get deleted. Cyber security 4 Cyber Security Myths That Must Die 4 Cyber Security Myths That Must Die Read More is a big deal with WhatsApp.

What Is There to Worry About?

Hacks do happen. Hackers who want to pry on your information and steal your photos can and will find ways, and they mostly do so when you’re using insecure networks, like airport Wi-Fi.

Leaks can also happen after your message is sent. If the recipient of your photo carelessly leaves their phone on to be seen by others, your photo can be seen and shared.

How to Be More Secure on WhatsApp

There’s nothing you can do about WhatsApp’s network. If it says the network is secure, you’ll just have to take WhatsApp’s word for it.

You can, however, protect your WhatsApp images by doing a few things.

First, use networks you’re familiar with or a VPN server when you’re not sure. ExpressVPN is said to be one of the best, most secure VPN networks out there The Best VPN Services The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More

Lock your phone. Don’t make it easy for would-be hackers. Keep your phone locked and away from prying eyes.

Avoid scams. If you get a message that seems fishy, don’t click on anything or reply. WhatsApp says it will never contact you, so don’t follow any links offering anything free. Avoid these messages completely.

Keep your profile hidden. Google’s reverse image search is a nifty tool for anyone wanting to find more information about a photo. If that photo is a picture of you, anyone wanting to find out where your profile picture has been used before and other information can easily do so. So, keep your profile hidden and no one can reverse image search your profile picture.

Last but not least, block your WhatsApp photos from appearing on your phone’s photo albums. WhatsApp gives you the option of storing photos sent and received on the app to your phone. If you send a discreet photo while having this option turned on, that same discreet photo will show up on your phone’s photo album and could be more easily accessible.

You can turn off this feature on your iPhone in the Settings menu under Privacy > Photos, and then by deselecting WhatsApp from the list of apps. The phone’s photo stream will no longer be able to save pictures from WhatsApp.

It’s a bit trickier for an Android phone. You’ll have to use a File Manager app to access your phone’s files. After downloading an app, you’ll need to create a .nomedia file under WhatsApp’s Images and Videos file. Doing so should prevent your shared photos on WhatsApp from being saved to the phone’s photo stream.

Be Safe

Put simply, WhatsApp can be easily susceptible when used over insecure Wi-Fi or other networks. Your photos, phone numbers, and other information can be made easily available for hackers who want your data.

But there are measures out there that you can take to be as secure as possible. Be smart about who you send photos to. Be smarter about what types of photos you send, and always be safe when you send information over the internet 8 Tips for Online Safety Used by Security Experts 8 Tips for Online Safety Used by Security Experts Want to stay safe online? Then forget everything you think you know about passwords, antivirus and online security because it's time to be retrained. Here's what the experts actually do. Read More .

data keypad

Nothing is truly 100% secure. If someone wants to obtain your photos and information, they can most likely acquire it because of something you’ve done, and not via WhatsApp’s own network.

Do you send photos on WhatsApp? Do you trust its networks to be secure? What safeguards do you take to prevent hackers from stealing your content? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credit: WhatsApp phone by antonbe via Pixabay, Security eyes by Thomas Breher via Pixabay, Keypad by Mark Hultgren via Pixabay, Security lock by Thomas Breher via Pixabay

Explore more about: Chat Client, Online Security, WhatsApp.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Licassa
    September 23, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I even dont know even whatsapp could be hacked or fully secured but main thing is that *someone had told me that he had done any setting in any system in whatsapp and could read out my conversations even if i m doing it with anyone else and even that person can take my pics even i had send that pic to anyone else that pic automatically saves in that person's device*
    Is there is any system in whatsapp or not *please reply*

    • Sareef Varafaru
      November 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      He might have installed some spying app on ur phone..just reset your phone and never give your phone to someone like him..

  2. Darson
    May 25, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Contact darkwebsolutions for any type of hack­ing /database service­s they offer differen­t services on differe­nt range of hacking i­ssues and also helps ­to retrieve accounts ­that have been taken ­by hackers .You wll b­e grateful.. +16265153510 (call or txt)

  3. Fik of borg
    March 16, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    What worries me is the storage of sent or received pictures in whatsapp servers.

    One can delete the image file in the phone (located in "/Whatsapp/Media/Whatsapp Images" in android) and the image gets blurred in the chat screen and can not be enlarged to full screen, but it is kept in whatsapp web with no obvious (to me) means to delete it.
    I know one can delete the message the image was originally attached to, and that deletes (at least hides) the message also on whatsapp web, image and all, but it not unusual to want to keep the message while deleting the picture.

    • Shay Meinecke
      March 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      I'll check this out (once my phone is fixed) and get back to you on this. cheers

  4. Anonymous
    March 15, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    The number of people - not the amount of people.

    Your friendly grammar police. :)

    • Shay Meinecke
      March 22, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      I noticed it too after it was published. Silly mistake, which I seem to making as of late. Thanks for being "friendly" about it :)