Must-know WhatsApp hack instantly improves your favourite texting app

WHATSAPP has a clever hack that instantly makes the app much safer and more private.

The chat app contains some of our most personal conversations – so it's important to keep its contents a secret.

One common blunder is to keep WhatsApp message previews unhidden.

That means the text is plainly visible when it turns up as a notification.

If someone can see your phone, they would be able to read your new texts.

Thankfully, it's easy enough to fix.

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Go to WhatsApp then head into Settings and then Notifications.

Now disable Show Preview to stop this from happening.

Speaking in code

That's not the only feature WhatsApp has to protect your privacy.

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For a start, it's end-to-end encrypted – which prevents hackers (or the government) from reading your texts in transit.

If an unencrypted message is read while being sent, it will be visible in plain text to a hacker.

But an encrypted message would be totally jumbled and impossible to translate.

WhatsApp makes it so that only the sender and recipient have the key to read the message.

And each new conversation with a different person will generate a different set of keys.

"End-to-end encrypted chats have their own security code used to verify that the calls and the messages you send to that chat are end-to-end encrypted," said WhatsApp.

"This code can be found in the contact info screen, both as a QR code and a 60-digit number.

"These codes are unique to each chat and can be compared between people in each chat to verify that the messages you send to the chat are end-to-end encrypted.

"Security codes are just visible versions of the special key shared between you – and don't worry, it's not the actual key itself, that's always kept secret."

Lock it down

You can also set WhatsApp to have its own lockscreen.

This means if you pass someone your phone to use for a short time, they wouldn't be able to get into your WhatsApp.

To set this up you need to head to your WhatsApp settings.

Then click "Account" and then "Privacy".

From here, you can switch on "Screen Lock" with either Touch ID or Face ID on iPhone.

You'll also be able to pick a duration time for when the ID is required again.

Now whenever you go to open the app, it'll ask you for your prints or a picture of your face to check it's really you reading your private chats.

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You can still read and quick reply to messages in your notification window, so the tool isn't foolproof.

You'll also be able to answer WhatsApp calls.

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