Protect Your WhatsApp Number From Appearing On Google Search Results
So, last week, WhatsApp users woke up to the shocking news that their WhatsApp numbers may be popping up in Google search results.
For an application which prides itself on protecting users’ privacy, this news is like a heavy blow to WhatsApp users who enjoy the privacy it gives.
While the latest Click To Chat feature is the next best thing to happen on WhatsApp, it can also turn out to be the worst.
The click to chat feature on WhatsApp allows users begin a chat with someone even if you haven’t saved their phone number in your phone book.
If you know the person’s number but haven’t saved it and they have an active WhatsApp account you can create URL links or QR codes which will allow you to start a chat with them.
When the person clicks the link, the chat with them automatically opens.
The downside is that it makes your phone number public on Google
Its still unclear whether this is intentional on the part of WhatsApp of its a bug.
Google’s algorithm is pulling your phone number from the Click to Chat link’s metadata and then it is saved to Google Search Index.
Some security researchers have called it a leak while Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google have seemingly brushed it off and said it’s to be expected.
Well, the problem is many WhatsApp users were not familiar with the ‘side effects’ of the click to chat and they’re freaking out big time!
Imagine your number popping up on Google search index and doing rounds.
If people wanted their numbers plastered all over the internet, they would put them there.
People not putting their numbers up, means they want their privacy.
Some security researchers have made a few recommendations on how to protect your WhatsApp so you won’t see your number popping up on Google Search Index , but the changes have not yet taken place on a larger scale so you need to hustle.
It’s not wise to use Click to Chat for now if you seriously don’t want your number to be saved on the Google’s Search Index
You’re advised to delete Click to Chat if you were already using it and if you shared your links in public forums/groups, delete them.
You can also alternatively use Google Voice with WhatsApp if you want, should you still want to use Click to Chat without risking your number appearing publicly.