WhatsApp has launched a new feature that could finally protect people from spam and scam callers.
The new tool, called “Silence Unknown Callers”, does exactly what it sounds like: stops people ringing you unless they are already in your contacts.
The feature is intended to “give you more privacy and control of your incoming calls”, WhatsApp said in its announcement. It pointed to spam and scams but also generally keeping people safe from unknown people’s calls.
Those calls will still be visible within the contact list, in case someone important does call. But they will not ring as normal phone calls, and so will not interrupt your day.
WhatsApp has also launched a new tool called Privacy Checkup, which allows people to run through a step-by-step guide to the security features on WhatsApp. That includes the new call screening feature, which otherwise can be turned on from within the settings.
When the checkup is launched, users are taken through a list of privacy settings – including their visibility, and options for who can contact them – and encouraged to change them if they wish. That will help “strengthen security of your messages, calls, and personal information”, WhatsApp said.
WhatsApp has in recent months looked to stress the privacy of its chat app. It has recently launched a range of other features aimed at keeping private information secure, including really disappearing messages and more control over who can see when you are online.
With the launch of the new features, WhatsApp will launch a new privacy campaign that both highlights its security features and encourages people to reach out to others using the app.
WhatsApp is also fighting against the Online Safety Bill, which it says could compromise the privacy of UK citizens, whether or not they use WhatsApp.
The new regulations pose an “unprecedented threat to the privacy, safety and security of every UK citizen and the people with whom they communicate around the world”, it has said.