IT’S a new year, so make sure your WhatsApp is in the best possible state for 2022.

There are loads of ways to boost your WhatsApp privacy and security – but we’ve chosen three of the most important.

WhatsApp is adding automatic message deletion

1. WhatsApp lock

Locking your WhatsApp separately to your Phone is very important. It means people who are using your phone can’t read your texts.

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. 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. 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.

You can always disable all message previews in your iPhone settings.

2. WhatsApp self-deleting texts

WhatsApp also has a recently-added feature that will automatically self-destruct new texts after a day. The new update is aimed at boosting your privacy – by destroying old WhatsApp messages. You can set Disappearing Messages to automatically turn on for all new chats – without affecting existing conversations.

And two new durations have been added for Disappearing Messages, 24 hours and 90 days. So now you can choose from four options in total: 24 hours, 7 days, 90 days or Off.

Go to Settings > Account > Privacy and then turn on Default Message Timer. This feature only rolled out a few weeks ago, so make sure you’ve updated WhatsApp to its latest version.

Bear in mind that this system isn’t perfect. Someone could still screenshot or copy your texts to keep a record of them. So if you really want to keep something off the internet, consider not posting it – unless you’re messaging someone you absolutely trust.

3. Two-step verification

Finally, you should turn on two-step verification right now. It’s an extra step for verifying your phone number, to help keep hackers out.

Hackers regularly try to break into WhatsApp accounts. Hijacking a WhatsApp account is an easy way to gain the trust of your friends and family, allowing even more sinister scams to be enacted.

To turn on two-step verification, go to Settings > Account and toggle the setting to On.