How to stay safe in groups on WhatsApp

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The safety and security of you and your messages matter to us. We want you to know about the tools and features we've designed to help you stay safe while using groups on WhatsApp.
When you’re added to a group, we show you information about the group so you can decide if you want to stay or leave. In addition to the group name and who added you, you can quickly see who created the group, when it was created, and the description. When you’re added by someone who isn’t a contact, you’ll see safety tools available to you.

Group privacy settings

By default, your group privacy settings are set to Everyone. For additional privacy, you can control who can add you to a group by adjusting your WhatsApp Settings. You can select Everyone, My contacts, or My contacts except….

Change group privacy settings

  1. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Click Privacy > Groups.
  3. Select one of the following options:
    • Everyone: Everyone, including people outside of your phone's address book contacts, can add you to groups without your approval.
    • My contacts: Only contacts in your phone's address book can add you to groups without your approval. If a group admin who's not in your phone's address book tries to add you to a group, they'll get a pop-up that says they can't add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to group or press Continue, followed by the send button, to send a private group invite through an individual chat. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.
    • My contacts except...: Only contacts in your phone’s address book, except those you exclude, can add you to groups without your approval. After selecting My contacts except… you can search for or select contacts to exclude. If a group admin you exclude tries to add you to a group, they’ll get a pop-up that says they can’t add you and will be prompted to tap Invite to group followed by the send button to send a private group invite through an individual chat. You'll have three days to accept the invite before it expires.

Report a message

You can report a message in a group and block the member. The message will be sent to WhatsApp, and the sender won’t be notified. When you select Block contact, you’ll no longer receive messages or calls from them. You’ll still be able to see their messages in groups.
  1. Click next to the message.
  2. Click Report.
  3. Select Block contact if you’d like to block the sender.
  4. Click Report.

Block a group

It’s not possible to block a group, however you can block and report group admins and members. For example, if you think they’re sending problematic content or spam. Learn what happens when you block and report someone in this article.

Report a group

  1. Click the group name > Report group.
  2. Select Exit group and clear chat if you’d like to exit the group.
  3. Click Report.
  4. When you report a group, the last five messages from the group will be forwarded to WhatsApp. No one in the group will be notified.

Block a group admin or member

You can stop receiving messages from group admins or members by blocking them.

Block a contact

  1. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Click Privacy > Blocked contacts.
  3. Click Add blocked contact.
  4. Search for or select the contact you want to block.

Block an unknown number

  1. Open the WhatsApp chat with the unknown phone number.
  2. Click the phone number you’d like to block.
  3. Click Block {number} > Block.

Exit a group

  1. Click the group name > Exit group.
  2. Click Exit group.

Related resources

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