WhatsApp: typing and online status can now be hidden WhatsApp has settings to define who can see your profile picture, add you to a group, or see the scrap associated with your profile.
However, whenever you open the app, anyone – even if they are not your contact – can see that you are active in the app in a very simple way: the text “online” appears right below your name.
Currently, none of the WhatsApp settings modify the “online” display.
Blocked contacts can’t see “online”, but those contacts can’t send you any messages either – which is usually not the goal of someone trying to hide this information.
Be careful to avoid the ‘online’
Before trying to hide the “online” warning, it is important to remember that this practice can have unintended consequences.
WhatsApp “online” is reliable precisely because it cannot be disabled.
When someone notices they’re receiving messages from you without seeing “online” or “typing” first, your contact is likely to suspect something is wrong because it’s not app-specific.
In other words, the idea of hiding your presence can easily end up creating more doubts and suspicions.
If someone is bothered by not receiving responses after seeing you online, that person may end up losing all confidence in your contact’s online, leading to the conclusion – possibly correct – that you are avoiding and hiding from them.
WhatsApp privacy settings allow you to control only the ‘last seen’, the ‘note’ associated with the profile and the ‘status’ which works like the WhatsApp stories. There is no adjustment for the ‘online’ warning. — Photo: Reproduction
How to read WhatsApp without going online
Reading messages via smartphone notifications (whether the screen is locked or not) is the simplest way to view the received content without opening WhatsApp and “reporting” that you are connected.
But this practice is not always useful: notifications show few conversations and only snippets of what was received.
Other than that, there is a very simple trick not to be “spoofed” by the WhatsApp “online” prompt. It seems obvious, but just open WhatsApp without being “online” (connected to the internet).
Enabling “airplane mode” on your smartphone to turn off the Wi-Fi network and connecting to the mobile network is one of the most intuitive methods to do this.
Without internet access, WhatsApp will not be able to “warn you” that you have opened the application and you will not appear “online”.
You can type and even “send” messages without a connection, but they won’t be delivered until you turn off airplane mode or manually connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Your contacts will also not be notified while you are typing in airplane mode. In other words, the trick works to hide both the “online” and the “typing”.
Alternative methods are risky
Some applications and browser extensions promise to “improve” WhatsApp, including options to hide “online” and “typing”.
The problem with these “solutions” is that they need to interfere with your WhatsApp connection to offer these features.
If you’re concerned about your privacy and don’t want to divulge when you’re online or typing, it makes little sense to put all your intimacy at risk by using unofficial apps to connect to WhatsApp.
If these apps or services suffer from hacker attacks, it is possible that the security of your conversations will be at risk.
There are also apps that allow you to read the “history” of mobile notifications. This trick allows you to view (at least partially) messages received via WhatsApp without opening the app.
Unlike the normal notification – which condenses information and leaves only what is most recent -, browsing the history tends to allow the reading of several conversations and messages that were received in individual notifications.
In order for an app to be able to view notification history, it needs to be granted permission to access and log all notifications it receives. This is risky, as reading notifications not only gives you access to WhatsApp, but also your SMSs and other resources.
Notification reading is one of the permissions considered “special” on Android, because spy apps take advantage of it to access authorization codes received by torpedoes or monitor your communications.
If the application used for this purpose is not completely trustworthy, there is a chance of serious problems.
As with browser extensions, using these mechanisms to bypass the regular functioning of WhatsApp is not recommended.