Have you checked your WhatsApp privacy settings?

Jun 01, 2021

Blog Post written by Jasper Ballantyne - Product Manager at Celo

Have you checked your WhatsApp privacy settings?

WhatsApp has made headlines over the past week, with users reporting the latest app update changed their group settings to include “everyone” - meaning people you don’t know can add you to a group without your knowledge. However, in a statement to Forbes, WhatsApp confirmed this change was made two years ago “There has been no change to our settings … In 2019 we added new controls for those who wanted to set limits on who could add them to groups”.

What’s changed?

  • If you haven't previously changed your app settings, with the 2019 update your group setting will be set to “everyone”, the WhatsApp default.
  • It is up to you to ensure you are comfortable with changes WhatsApp makes to their consumer messaging app including privacy settings, Terms and Conditions updates, and changes to their data sharing policy - often made by their parent company - Facebook.

Apps like WhatsApp are designed to work for everyone which is great in a social setting but not so great in healthcare, especially when sharing patient information or discussing sensitive topics.

How to change your WhatsApp privacy settings

From your WhatsApp Settings select Account, then Privacy, then Groups, and change the setting from Everyone to My Contacts.

How to ensure changes to WhatsApp won’t catch you off guard in the future

If you’re simply using WhatsApp to chat about your lunch plans or organise a coffee - you might feel okay with random and unexpected changes to the privacy of your messaging app.

But if you’re working in healthcare and need to communicate safely with your healthcare colleagues - consider your options. Save yourself the hassle and use a tool designed for healthcare that is simple, secure and compliant. With Celo you can trust that any update to our app was made with healthcare use in mind.

Rest assured when you’re using Celo, you won’t need to constantly check whether privacy changes are being made in the background or without your knowledge. Celo will always design and build for the healthcare setting and will never put your or your patients’ data at risk.

About Celo

“Celo was born from a very simple belief that good communication can save lives. And when we looked at how we were collaborating with our healthcare colleagues, we realised that our communication simply wasn’t good enough.

To connect with our colleagues, we had to share our personal contact details with them, blurring the lines between our personal and professional lives.

And on top of that, we were often ignoring our contractual obligations to use compliant platforms for the sake of convenience - literally putting our livelihoods at risk so we could use applications we were familiar with.

So rather than wait for someone else to do it for us, we went about changing the landscape. Rounding up a team of engineers, designs and doers, we created Celo.

Built from the ground up to address the needs of healthcare, we embarked on a mission to make the lives of people in healthcare easier, and help save lives in the process.”

Jess Roberts

SET Plastic Surgery Registrar

Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer

Celo