Are self-disappearing messages in WhatsApp safe

The self-disappearing message feature in WhatsApp has aroused the discontent of users, which allows deleting sensitive information after sending it, so that it does not remain in the chat history forever, as many considered that the 7-day period is too long for messages to disappear, allowing anyone to keep that information.

Unsafe ways

The application stressed the use of the self-disappearing message feature with trusted people only, where a person may do the following: forward the message or take a screenshot of it and save it before it disappears, copy and save content from it, or photograph it with a camera from any other device before its disappearance. As it was stated in the explanation of how the feature works through the application’s website, if the user does not open WhatsApp within seven days, the message will disappear from the chat, however, the message preview may remain visible in the notifications until the application is opened. And when you reply to a self-disappearing message, the quoted text remains in the chat after seven days. And if you forward a self-disappearing message to a chat in which self-disappearing messages have been turned off, the message will not disappear from the forwarded chat.

He added: If the user creates a backup copy before the message disappears, the self-disappearing message is included in the backup copy.

Media download

The media received via WhatsApp is automatically downloaded into photos. When you turn on the self-hidden messages feature, the media sent in the chat will disappear, but will be saved to your phone if the auto download feature is enabled.

You can turn off the auto download feature by going to Settings> Data & storage usage.

Address gaps

On the other hand, WhatsApp released an update to address a number of product vulnerabilities (WhatsApp for iOS prior to v2.20.111) and (WhatsApp Business for iOS prior to v2.20.111) that allow attackers to exploit vulnerabilities, implement malware, and memory failures. In addition to the wrong permission for the lock screen feature, by allowing Siri to interact with the application even after the device is locked, and the update can be done by going to the App Store and searching for WhatsApp, then pressing Update.

Activate / disable the feature:

– Open a chat in WhatsApp

– Click on the contact name

– Click on self-disappearing messages

If prompted, click Continue

– Select On / Off


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