How To Hide your Phone Number in WeChat
Want to hide your phone number in WeChat? Want to improve privacy while still making the most of this app? Want to engage fully with other WeChat users but like to maintain a semblance of privacy? If, so, this tutorial is for you. I’m going to walk you through hiding your number and improving the core privacy settings in this insanely popular app.
WeChat, along with fellow Chinese app TikTok, are taking the west by storm. They have been around a year or two in their current form and have gained an active user base of hundreds of millions in that time. Both apps have been at the top of the app download charts and seem to keep attracting new users.
Privacy and security are always a concern when a new app comes around and it seems even more so when that app has Chinese origins. Neither WeChat nor TikTok seem any better or worse than western apps and have similar privacy options so you can keep some of your personal life personal.
Here are some privacy changes you can make in WeChat to set your mind at ease.
Hide your phone number in WeChat
The only time your phone number is used in WeChat is when you friend someone using it. Otherwise it is not advertised on the network. It may be discoverable through the app search function so a specific option within the privacy menu helps you keep your number to yourself.
- Open WeChat and log in.
- Select the Me tab and Settings.
- Select Privacy and toggle Find Me by Phone No. to off.
Now your phone number will no longer appear in search or any function within WeChat.
Don’t close the privacy menu yet as we will need it to lock down the app a little more. The default settings are okay but there is always room for improvement. Let’s work our way down the Privacy screen in WeChat and decide whether to toggle settings on or off.
Friend Confirmation – Control whether people can find you and friend you without you confirming it or not. If you don’t mind randoms adding you as a friend then leave it off. If you want to verify everyone who friends you, turn it on.
Methods for Friending Me – This selects how people can find and friend you. Here you can control whether you appear on WeChat ID or whether they can find you by phone number.
Find Mobile Contacts – Toggling this off disables the option to automatically add every one of your phone contacts who uses WeChat as a friend. This is a useful option if you have a huge contacts list that area mix of acquaintances rather than just friends.
Block List – This is where friends you block will appear. There is no toggle here but chances are you will be blocking people at some point so its good to know where it is.
Don’t Share My Moments – This is a list you can build manually that includes WeChat friends you don’t want to see the Moments you publish. It’s a blacklist that only works with Moments so other interactions will not be affected.
Hide User’s Moments – This is the opposite. This includes WeChat friends whose Moments you don’t want to see. A useful filter for oversharers or those who post stuff you’re really not interested in.
Viewable by Others – This controls who can see your Moments when you publish them. Unless you’re having specific problems with groups of people, it’s best to leave this at All to get maximum reach. Your other options are Last 3 Days, Last Month and Last 6 Months which restrict access to Moments within that time period.
Only Last 10 Made Public – This is an option to limit public accessibility of your Moments to your last 10. It’s an odd setting but one you can set, or not, as you see fit.
Change your WeChat password
The final security precaution you should take note of is how to change your WeChat password. It isn’t something you will have to do that often, but periodically changing it to something difficult to guess can help your personal security.
- Open WeChat and select the Me tab.
- Select Settings and Account Security.
- Select Password.
- Enter a tough password in both the Password and Confirm boxes.
Try to make your password as difficult to guess as possible while being able to remember what it is. Try to avoid dictionary words and maybe use a passphrase instead like the name of your favorite actor or artist with some numbers instead of letters and a special character here and there.
WeChat has some basic privacy options you can configure to improve privacy on the app. Now you know where they are and what they mean you can make an informed decision about using the app and what information you’re willing to put out there.