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WhatsApp is pretty straightforward, but certain parts about how it works can be confusing (especially if you’re new to the platform), including just how the Last Seen status operates. 

Since WhatsApp became a part of Meta, it has added more features similar to those you might have seen on Facebook Messenger. In this article, we’ll look at the Last Seen status that WhatsApp shows to your contacts, as well as other users on the platform, and how to hide this information from strangers. 

Table of Contents

What Last Seen Status Means

WhatsApp’s Last Seen status refers to when the user was last active on the app. This includes the last time a user replied to someone, as well as the last time they had the app opened on their device. When you open a chat with another user on WhatsApp, you can find their Last Seen status next to their profile picture at the top of the screen. If someone hasn’t replied to your messages in a while, you can check their Last Seen status to see if they’ve been avoiding your messages on purpose or if they haven’t been online for that long. 

While Last Seen isn’t a new feature on WhatsApp, it recently received an update. Previously, you were able to hide your Last Seen information from the WhatsApp users who aren’t in your contact list or from everyone. With the update, you also can hide your Last Seen status from specific people. Effectively, it’s like blocking particular contacts from viewing your Last Seen info. 

Note: If you don’t share your Last Seen status, you won’t be able to see the Last Seen status of other users.

How to Hide Your Last Seen Status on WhatsApp

The option to hide your Last Seen status is available for Android and iOS users. If you don’t want certain people to be aware of your online presence on the app, you can control who can see your Last Seen info in WhatsApp’s privacy settings. 

Hide Your Last Seen Status on Android

If you’re an Android user, follow the steps below to hide your Last Seen status on WhatsApp using the mobile app. 

Open WhatsApp on your smartphone.

In the upper-right corner of the screen, select the three vertical dots icon to open the menu. 

    On the drop-down menu, select Settings.

      In the Settings menu, select Account. 

        Select Privacy.

          Finally, in the Privacy settings, select Last seen.

            Select one of the options from the Last seen window, then select Done at the bottom of the screen to confirm. These options include: 

            Everyone: Allow anyone to see your Last Seen status.

            My contacts: Allow only people on your contact list to see your Last Seen status.

            My contacts except: Manually select contacts that won’t be able to view your Last Seen status. 

            Nobody. Hide your Last Seen info from everyone, meaning you also won’t be able to see anyone else’s Last Seen status. 

            If you change your mind and want to restore your Last Seen status visibility, you return to the Last Seen section of the privacy settings at any time. 

            Hide Your Last Seen Status on iPhone 

            The steps for hiding your Last Seen status on Apple devices are similar. However, the app’s interface is a little different. If you’re an iOS user and need help navigating through WhatsApp’s privacy settings to hide your Last Seen info, follow the steps below.

            Open WhatsApp on your phone.

            Select Settings at the bottom-right corner of the screen.

              This opens a page with the options of who can see your Last Seen status: everyone, my contacts, and nobody. On iPhone, the option to hide your Last Seen status from specific contacts isn’t available yet as it’s still in testing. WhatsApp will automatically save the option that you select. 

              Note: You can’t access your privacy settings on WhatsApp on the web, which means you can’t change them to hide your Last Seen status from your computer. 

              Why You Should Hide Your Last Seen Status on WhatsApp

              Hiding your Last Seen status or leaving it for everyone to see is a question of how private you want to keep your WhatsApp account. WhatsApp used to set your Last Seen status visibility to Everyone by default, meaning every user on the platform could access this information. This also allowed third-party apps to exploit this feature and track certain users through WhatsApp. 

              After the latest security update, WhatsApp users who aren’t on your contact list and whom you haven’t exchanged a single message with can’t see when you’ve last been online (or whether you’re online right now). Since an app isn’t a contact, this update prevents third-party apps from accessing your Last Seen or Online status information. 

              You can make use of this new update even if you’re not at all concerned about other people tracking your online presence on WhatsApp. On the contrary, you might want your friends or loved ones to know when you were last seen online. In that case, you can set your Last Seen status to My Contacts Except and only leave the people that you trust unselected.

              Make Your WhatsApp More Private

              Last Seen is a common feature in many other social media platforms and messengers (like Viber or Telegram). However, on most of them, you can either keep this feature enabled or disable it altogether. The ability to hide your Last Seen status from certain users is an excellent addition to WhatsApp privacy features that can help you make your WhatsApp account more private. 

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              Why You Should Use Malwarebytes To Protect Your Mac

              When we cover dozens of stories each year about Mac related security issues and malware discovered in the wild, it’s hard to imagine that the misconception that “Macs don’t get viruses” still exists. Although there is some truth to it. Macs are much more resilient to what are commonly classified as “viruses” and in general malware is much more rare for Mac users versus Windows. But that doesn’t mean Mac users don’t need to protect themselves from malware threats. And it’s not just malware, there are a long list of other threats that Mac users should be aware of and protecting themselves against.

              The security experts at long-time Mac software developer Malwarebytes are often the source of security stories we cover throughout the year on 9to5Mac. We’ve come to trust its team for the many discoveries and coverage of malware and security related issues for Mac users. That’s why it’s easy to give a recommendation on the Malwarebytes software as a go-to option for protecting your Mac. Here’s how it works:

              Hands-on with Malwarebytes

              As you’ll see in the video above, the app has a super streamlined and easy to understand design that walks you through the entire task of scanning for malware and, in the event something is discovered, quarantining and properly and safely dealing with the threat.

              Within you have options to either turn on real-time protection to have the app actively scanning for incoming threats, or to perform a scan manually on your system.

              If it detects something, Malwarebytes will prompt you to confirm “quarantining” the threat. Along the left-hand side of the app is the menu where you’ll find “Quarantine.” In here you’ll be able to view all of the potential threats that the app finds to either review and further research them and/or ultimately delete them from your system permanently.

              Malwarebytes actually protects your Mac against much more than just malware. Adware and junk software often referred to as PUPs, or potentially unwanted programs, have been an increasing problem for Mac users. The experts at Malwarebytes have documented many of these, with a few examples including bundling junk software in fake Adobe Flash Player installers, using scare tactics to convince the user that they need to purchase to fix a “serious problem,” posting fake user reviews, and making false claims about their capabilities (e.g., claiming to be anti-virus software but failing to detect Mac malware).

              If you choose to turn on real-time protection rather than performing manual scans, you will automatically get a notification when Malwarebytes detects and quarantines a threat or has an update to protect against the latest security discoveries (as pictured below):

              It truly couldn’t be any easier to keep your Mac protected from these threats and have peace of mind. Malwarebytes makes it extremely easy for anyone, unlike so many other security apps with clunky and intrusive user interfaces, and does so in an incredibly lightweight package about the size of three digital music files.

              If you are looking for super easy to use and trustworthy security software to protect your Mac, you can download and use Malwarebytes for Mac for free.

              The free version will let you scan and clean up your Mac, while a premium version will let you turn on real-time protection to proactively protect against incoming viruses, spyware, malware and ransomware attacks starting at $39.99/year for one device.

              FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

              Why You Should Consider Using Mozilla Firefox Focus On Your Android Devices.

              For the last six months, Firefox Focus has only been available for iOS devices, leaving the Android community hungering for a lite, fast and private browser. The good news is that as of yesterday Firefox Focus has been released for Android devices and it’s everything you want from a privacy focused, mobile based, web browser.

              How to Use Snap Map, the Newest Feature Added to Snapchat.

              It may have taken 6 months or so to finally arrive on Android, but the wait has been well worth it. Having switched between Chrome and the standard version of Firefox countless times, it’s a pleasure to try a new mobile Internet browser that isn’t resource hungry, doesn’t chew through storage space, and offers privacy settings that make you feel a lot less watched.

              If you have used FireFox Focus on iOS, you will be used to how simple the interface is, with very few distractions, even the options menu is streamlined. It’s great to see the Android version of Firefox Focus has remained very much the same, although, Mozilla has tweaked it a little and added a few small features that enhance its usability. All of which are rumored to be heading towards iOS in the very near future. Below we have listed each of these small additions and what they do.

              All the Additional Features of Firefox Focus on Android. 

              Disable tracker blocker – You now have the option to disable the tracker blocker if it is causing certain websites to load incorrectly or bug out.

              Notification reminder – This lets you know when Firefox Focus is running in the background, you can also use this same notification to erase your browsing history.

              Firefox Focus: Privacy at its Core.

              What Else Makes Firefox Focus Worth Using?

              As well as privacy-focused browsing, you also get the benefit of a clutter-free interface, easy to use options, an app that barely uses any space on your device and of course, most importantly, super fast browsing. In comparison between Chrome and the standard version of Firefox, the speeds are quite noticeable.

              Note: The space each browser uses by default (without any cached data) is quite interesting. Chrome uses 65mb, Firefox (standard) uses 38mb and Firefox Focus uses 3.5mb.

              In the settings menu, you will also find the option to change which search engine Focus uses: Google, Yahoo, Amazon, DuckDuckGo, Twitter, and Wikipedia are the options you can choose from. If you are really into your privacy DuckDuckGo is the search engine of choice, as it also doesn’t track or store any information about your searches.

              How To Delete Your Whatsapp Account On Android, Ios, And Kaios

              With the recent changes in privacy policy, WhatsApp demands you to share data with Facebook and its family of companies. Starting from the 8th of February, WhatsApp will force you to accept the new changes or lock you out of your account. The worst part is that you can’t opt-out of this intrusive policy unless you’re living in a country which is part of the European Union. So, in light of this new policy, if you’ve been thinking of deleting your WhatsApp account, there has never been a better time, and here’s how you do it.

              Delete Your WhatsApp Account

              Given the wide scale of WhatsApp, we’ve added separate set of instructions for deleting your account from Android, iPhone, and KaiOS (JioPhone). Feel free to skip to the part you need based on the phone you use.

              Delete Your WhatsApp Account on Android

              1. Open WhatsApp and head to Settings. You can do this by tapping on the vertical three dots icon present in the top right corner, followed by choosing Settings in the dropdown menu.

              3. Once you’re on the ‘Delete my account’ page, WhatsApp will ask you to confirm your phone number. Enter the phone number you used to create your account and press ‘Delete my account’ button.

              4. Soon after you tap on ‘Delete my account’, the company will ask the reason to delete your account. You can choose one of the predefined reasons or enter your reason in the ‘Other’ section. After adding the reason, press Delete my account twice. Your account will now get deleted and you can safely uninstall the app from your phone.

              Delete Your WhatsApp Account on iOS

              1. Open WhatsApp on your iPhone and switch to the Settings section from the bottom navigation bar. From Settings, tap on Account to access your account’s settings page and choose ‘Delete my Account’.

              2. You should now enter your phone number linked to your WhatsApp account and tap on ‘Delete My Account’. After the account deletion process is complete, you can uninstall the app from your iPhone.

              Delete Your WhatsApp Account on KaiOS

              What Happens After You Delete Your WhatsApp Account

              After you choose to delete your account, you can’t regain access to it. WhatsApp will take up to 90 days to complete the account deletion process. While the company won’t delete messages you sent in groups and chats thus far, it will delete information shared with other Facebook companies.

              On its FAQ page, WhatsApp clarifies that copies of ‘some materials such as log records’ may remain in its database. However, the remaining data is disassociated from personal identifiers. The company also points out that it may keep your information for legal issues, terms violations, or harm prevention efforts.

              Frequently Asked Questions 1. Why should I delete WhatsApp?

              From February 8, WhatsApp demands you to share data with Facebook and its family of companies. Moreover, you can’t use WhatsApp without agreeing to this new policy. In a nutshell, it is better to delete WhatsApp and regain control of your privacy on the internet.

              2. Which app is better than WhatsApp? 3. Will uninstalling WhatsApp delete my account?

              No, uninstalling WhatsApp doesn’t delete your account. You will have to delete your account from Settings.

              4. Which is the privacy-friendly alternative to WhatsApp?

              I would recommend moving to Signal for staying connected with your friends and family without compromising your privacy. You can check out our list of best secure messaging apps to find the best option for you.

              5. Will deleting WhatsApp account delete data shared with other Facebook companies?

              Yes, deleting your WhatsApp account will remove data shared with other Facebook companies.

              Delete WhatsApp and Switch to Privacy-Friendly Alternatives

              We hope this guide helped you delete your WhatsApp account and free yourself from surveillance capitalism. While you are at it, don’t forget to delete Facebook and Remove Instagram. The collect way more data than WhatsApp, and no one should be using them if they are concerned about their privacy.

              4 Reasons You Should Be Using Whatsapp Web

              There are many reasons why users choose to do their messaging on WhatsApp: from encrypted messages, to support for audio and video calls, group chats with up to 1,023 other people, and extras like file and location sharing. 

              But Meta’s platform also offers an easy-to-use web interface. You might be perfectly happy using WhatsApp on your phone only, but it’s well worth it to get set up in a desktop web browser as well—if only to prevent you from having to pick up your phone every time someone sends a funny sticker to the group chat.

              To get started, visit the WhatsApp Web portal in your browser, which will give you a QR code. In the mobile app, tap the three dots (Android) or cog icon (iOS), then choose Linked Devices and Link a Device to scan the QR code and get connected.

              If you prefer, there are also desktop apps available for Windows and macOS that you can install. The features and benefits of these programs match up with the web app, but the latter will give you the freedom to access your messages and chat logs no matter what computer you’re on.

              WhatsApp Web will allow you to forget about your phone

              In these hyper-connected, always-online times, lots of us are looking for ways to cut down on the time we spend staring at our smartphone screens. Using WhatsApp on the web can help with that.

              [Related: How to get rid of the ‘forwarded’ label on WhatsApp]

              Admittedly, you’re just swapping one screen for another when it comes to WhatsApp, but if your phone is staying in your pocket or your desk drawer (or even the next room) then you can keep an eye on important messages without getting distracted by everything else that might be happening on your mobile.

              Add in the time saved unlocking your handset and opening the WhatsApp app, and we’re talking about a substantial productivity boost for those times when you need to focus on your computing, at home, or at work.

              A keyboard, a mouse, and a larger display make WhatsApp better

              There doesn’t seem to be a length limit for WhatsApp texts, and the platform is certainly capable of handling longer missives. If you like to express yourself at length on the app, it’s obviously easier to type on an actual keyboard than on your phone screen.

              Having a mouse also helps, as it lets you easily switch between conversations and scroll back through chats more quickly. On WhatsApp Web, you’ll also be working on a larger screen, which means less scrolling to begin with, and a better overview of both individual chats and your conversation list.

              Make the most of WhatsApp keyboard shortcuts

              There is a full list of WhatsApp keyboard shortcuts on the platform’s official site, but a few of our favorites include Esc to close a chat, Ctrl+Alt+N (Windows) or Cmd+Alt+N (macOS) to start a new chat, and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E (Windows) or Cmd+Ctrl+Shift+E (macOS) to archive a chat.

              You’ll also be able to use keyboard shortcuts to move around your conversation list. Hit Ctrl+Alt+Tab (Windows) or Cmd+Ctrl+Tab (macOS) to jump to the next chat, or Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Tab (Windows) or Cmd+Ctrl+Shift+Tab (macOS) to go back to the previous one.  Meanwhile, you can open the search panel by tapping Alt+K (Windows) or Cmd+K (macOS).

              Create stickers on WhatsApp Web

              Another reason to get set up on WhatsApp Web is that it gives you the ability to create your own custom stickers. You can use whatever images you have on your computer to make icons that you can repeatedly stick into your chats.

              [Related: The 7 best apps for all your group chats]

              WhatsApp will sync your stickers between devices, so you can then use the ones you created on the web on your phone.

              3 Ways To Hide Photos And Files On Your Phone

              This story has been updated. It was originally published on March 26, 2023.

              Everything on your smartphone should be protected behind a lock screen—accessible only via fingerprint, a PIN code, or facial recognition—but there will be times when other people have access to your device.

              Maybe your grandparents want to look at photos of the kids, your nephew wants to play a game, or your partner needs to borrow your phone to check the weather forecast. Whatever the reason, you don’t necessarily want all your files, photos, and videos available for someone else to stumble across.

              You’ve got two options here: Use the file-hiding tools available as part of Google Photos or Apple Photos, or get an app built specifically for putting files beyond another layer of protection, like a PIN code or password.

              Apple Photos and Google Photos

              The Photos app built into iOS has a feature specifically meant for hiding photos and videos—find it by tapping the Share button (the arrow coming out of a box) and choosing Hide. This button appears on individual photo and video pages, as well as when you’re selecting multiple files from the main Photos view (tap Select to do so).

              Once something is hidden, it’ll vanish from your Photos feed—the main way into your photos and videos. It won’t appear in the Years, Months, and Days views, either, or in search results. If someone goes snooping, though, they can still find these files by tapping Albums and Hidden, so they’re not exactly locked away for good. To unhide a photo or video, find it in the Hidden album, then tap Share and Unhide.

              From the Photos tab, open an individual photo or video page, tap the Menu button (three dots, top right) then Move to archive or Delete from device. To hide a batch of photos and videos at once, long press on the first one until it’s checked, then tap on the other items you want to archive. Next, tap the Menu button and choose Move to archive. Use the same process, but select Delete from device to bulk-delete.

              Now you know what the options for archiving and deleting photos on Android phones look like. Get hidin’. David Nield

              Archived photos and videos will still show up if they match a search query, or if you go to Archive from the Google Photos app menu (Library, in the bottom right corner). Photos and videos can be unarchived, if necessary. If they’ve been assigned to albums, they’ll also still appear if you open the Albums tab and go into the relevant album.

              These tricks won’t stop someone who is determined to look at every single photo and video on your phone—and knows where to find them—but they are a good first line of defense against someone casually browsing through your snaps and finding something you don’t want them to see.

              File locker apps

              If you want to get serious about locking photos, videos, and other files away from prying eyes, install one of many dedicated file locker apps. Once files have been placed into one of these digital vaults, you’ll need a special password or PIN code to access them.

              Those of you using a Samsung phone already have a built-in locker app: Secure Folder. From Settings, choose Lock screen and security, then Secure Folder to create, well, a secure folder. You can protect it with a pattern, PIN code, password, or biometric data (like a fingerprint).

              To move a photo to your secure folder, select it in the Samsung gallery, then tap the More menu (three dots) and Move to Secure Folder. Then, delete the original. For other types of files, open My Files, then Documents. Hit the More menu (three dots), followed by edit. Choose the files you want to move, touch the dots again, and select Move to Secure Folder. You can also choose Add from inside the secure folder and transfer files that way. No one will be able to get into this digital lockbox (which shows up as a separate app) without the PIN code or whatever other protection you’ve applied.

              Plenty of other apps offer similar functionality, protecting selected files from prying eyes with an extra code or biometric layer of security. Safe Lock for iOS is one of the best options for photos and videos on Apple devices—it works smoothly with the Apple Photos app and creates a dummy photo gallery to hide your secret one. It’s free to use, but pay $2 a month and you’ll get extra options such as custom icons and a one-touch album lock button.

              Keepsafe aims to do what its name says: keep your files safe. David Nield

              Those are three of the best file locker apps available, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list. If there’s a feature you absolutely need and none of these do the trick, feel free to hunt around the app store on your device—just be sure to carefully read the app’s description and reviews before installing.

              It’s also worth considering the options you’ve got inside the apps you already use—they might already let you lock away whatever it is you need to keep private. The Apple Notes app on iOS, for example, can password-protect certain notes: Tap the three dots in the top right corner with a note open and choose Lock (or long-press a note on the main list and select Lock Note) to protect it with a password and/or Face or Touch ID.

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