Six easy steps police say you need to do to your WhatsApp settings after changes to terms and conditions

A police officer is urging mobile phone users to check their settings in case strangers add them to groups without their knowledge.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 6:11 pm

Durham Constabulary Partnership Officer Susie Blake has issued a warning about changes to the service terms of messaging service WhatsApp.

The statement says the service – which is owned by Facebook – has changed its group settings to include ‘everyone’ by default, ‘which means people that you don’t know can add you to a group without your knowledge’.

“When I heard about this, I checked my own settings and it showed I was set to ‘everyone’ so I changed it back to keep myself safe,” says the statement.

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Durham Constabulary has urged mobile phone users to check their Whatsapp settings
Durham Constabulary has urged mobile phone users to check their Whatsapp settings

The warning, circulated by the force’s ‘Keep in the Know’ service, includes advice on how to change your settings:

*Go into WhatsApp

*Go into settings

*Go into account

*Go to privacy

*Go to groups

*Change the setting from ‘everyone’ to ‘my contacts’.

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The police warning urges service users – and especially parents – to make sure they keep an eye on their own phone settings and those of their children.

"It is always worthwhile checking your privacy settings regularly on your own devices and if you have kids, check theirs too, or do it together to encourage them to be critical thinkers on-line,” says the statement.

It lists a number of websites for useful information:“For further advice on settings or parental controls, visit any of the following sites as they are a great source of information: www.getsafeonline.org, www.internetmatters.org and www.net-aware.org.uk.”

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