WhatsApp users urged to turn NEW security feature on – how to do it in seconds

WHATSAPP is urging users to set up a new feature that automatically deletes your text messages.

The genius trick is a brilliant boost for your privacy – and only takes a few seconds to activate.

Regular WhatsApp users will likely have sent tens of thousands of messages over the years.

It feels so normal, but that means there's a gigantic record of lots of texts you sent.

Importantly, those texts aren't just on your phone but the handsets of other people too.

Tech companies are now working to fix this system, by allowing you to clean up old chats.

WhatsApp recently added a feature that lets you automatically self-destruct all new texts.

This doesn't work for messages you've already send prior to changing the setting.

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But new texts you send to individuals can be deleted after a single day automatically.

You can set Disappearing Messages to automatically turn on for all new chats – without affecting existing conversations.

And two new durations have been added for Disappearing Messages, 24 hours and 90 days.

So now you can choose from four options in total: 24 hours, 7 days, 90 days or Off.

"Deciding how long a message lasts should be in your hands," said WhatsApp.

"We've become accustomed to leaving a digital copy of just about everything we type without even thinking about it.

"It's become the equivalent of a note taker following us around making a permanent record of everything we've said.

"This is why we introduce disappearing messages last year, and more recently a way for photos and videos to immediately disappear after being viewed once."

WhatsApp's new feature begins rolling out today.

So if you don't see it yet, try updating your app or simply wait a few days.

Enabling Disappearing Messages automatically works for all one-on-one chats.

And either party in the chat can choose the setting.

It won't change or delete any of your existing chats, so don't worry about losing old info.

A message will also be displayed warning people in the conversation that messages will be deleted.

This notification will reveal how long you have to read the texts before they vanish forever.

Does it work? Sort of

Bear in mind that this system isn't perfect.

The system will delete your texts after a chosen time, which is handy.

But someone could still screenshot or copy your texts to keep a record of them.

So if you really want to keep something off the internet, consider not posting it – unless you're messaging someone you absolutely trust.

All of the Disappearing Messages remain end-to-end encrypted, just like regular WhatsApp missives.

"Living apart from family and friends for over a year has made it clearer than ever that just because we can't physically talk in person, it doesn't mean we should have to sacrifice the privacy of our personal connections," said WhatsApp.

"We believe Disappearing Messages along with end-to-end encryption are two crucial features that define what it means to be a private messaging service today.

"And bring us one step closer to the feeling of an in-person conversation."

To use the feature, update your WhatsApp app and then go into Privacy Settings.

You'll find the new feature under Default Message Timer.

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