WhatsApp is a free mobile messaging app which allows users to send and receive messages, images and videos to their existing phone contacts, using an internet connection. WhatsApp users can create groups and send messages to lots of their friends at the same time.
There is information on staying safe on WhatsApp on its FAQ page.
- Privacy settings: Normally if you know someone’s phone number, it can be easy to find out if they are on WhatsApp or not. To control who can find your profile picture and your status, or when you were last online, there are privacy settings that can be adjusted so either ‘everyone’ on WhatsApp can see your profile picture, just ‘your contacts’ which are the contacts in your phone book, or nobody.
- Blocking: You can block specific contacts from interacting with you on WhatsApp. If you block someone, they can no longer send you a message, however you will need to delete someone as a contact in your phone book if you want them not to see your profile on WhatsApp. As each phone is different, you can learn how you can block people on WhatsApp on different phone networks.
- Reporting: You can report content to WhatsApp, although they state it is better to go to law enforcement if you believe your safety, or someone else's safety is at risk. It is important to screenshot the offending text/picture/video and to provide as much information as possible to WhatsApp as they won’t be able to see the message otherwise.
- Spam: Should you receive a message from an unknown number, you will be immediately asked if you know this contact or if you would like to report it as spam.
Terms and conditions
The terms of service outlines what is ok and not ok to post on WhatsApp.
Examples of things that break the terms of service are:
- Sending ads or spam
- Sending content that is against the law, obscene, threatening, harassing, racially or ethnically offensive
- Being annoying to other users
- Being a repeat infringer
- Using an automated system to send messages through WhatsApp
You may be banned from WhatsApp if you break these terms of service.
16 years +
To be eligible to sign up for this service, you must be at least 16 years of age.