How to avoid being added to spam WhatsApp groups

Do you keep receiving unwanted messages from random WhatsApp groups that you never asked to join? Spam groups can be annoying, but you can change individual settings to limit them. Let's see how you can adjust your WhatsApp settings and protect yourself from spam. Afterwards, you can adopt better privacy practices to ensure that your chats are free of unsolicited content.

Set up WhatsApp group invitation settings

The instructions and screenshots below are from the WhatsApp app for iOS. The steps for Android are similar, but slightly different.

  1. Open WhatsApp and click on "Settings" . In Android, Settings is located under the kebab menu (three vertical dots) in the upper right corner.

  2. Click Privacy on the Settings screen.

  3. Select the group . You'll see multiple options for " Who can add me to the group? "

  4. By default, it is set to Everyone . Anyone who knows your phone number can add you to any group. There are three additional settings here that provide different levels of control.

  • My Contacts: Only people in your address book can add you to a group. They need to send a private invitation for your approval within 72 hours.

  • Except My Contacts : This provides finer control. Select this option and select specific contacts to exclude from adding you to the group.

  • Nobody: This gives you complete control and is the recommended setting. When you receive an invitation to a WhatsApp group, you must explicitly give permission. WhatsApp on Android doesn't show this option (some users on iOS may not see it either) - if you have contacts you're trying to spam, select "My Contacts", or "Except My Contacts" ” and manually select people for you. (If you don't have the "No one" option and you really don't need an invitation, select "Except my contacts" and then "Select all.")

You will still receive an invitation link to join the group in private DMs. But now you have a choice. If you want to join a group, you have three days to accept the invitation before it expires.

Note: Group privacy settings cannot be changed on WhatsApp web or desktop. When you change settings on your phone, they will sync with WhatsApp web and desktop. Additionally, this setting does not apply to community announcements; if you are in a community, you will always be added to it.

More tips to avoid unwanted WhatsApp groups

WhatsApp makes texting and sharing easy, which makes it easy to ignore some basic privacy guidelines.

  1. Don't share your phone number publicly online. Spammers can steal contact information from social networking sites.

  2. Do not click on unknown links or phishing messages that use link shorteners from unknown sources.

  3. Be cautious about messages containing urgent language or unknown senders.

  4. If you accidentally join a spam group, you can report it by clicking on the group information and selecting Report Group . Then, select "Exit group" to leave the group. You can archive WhatsApp groups and hide them.

  5. WhatsApp also has a privacy checkup tool. It's like a guide that takes you to the ideal settings to apply and control your privacy on the app.

Tip: During this process, adjust another setting to silence all unknown and spam callers on WhatsApp.