How to Keep Your WhatsApp Number Out of Google Search Results
Electronics & Gadgets  

If you use WhatsApp’s Click to Chat feature, your phone number may be showing up in Google search results.


Click to Chat lets users create URL links or QR codes that others can use to reach them through WhatsApp, without needing to know their phone number or have them on a contacts list. It’s an extremely convenient feature, especially for anyone who uses WhatsApp for business communication, but it makes your phone number publicly searchable on Google.
There’s some debate over whether this is intentional or a bug. Google’s algorithm pulls the phone number from the Click to Chat link’s metadata, which is then saved to Google Search Index. Security researchers have labeled this a “leak,” while Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google all gave statements to Threat Post saying it’s expected behavior.
It doesn’t really matter if this is part of the feature or an unexpected side effect; the problem is many WhatsApp users were unaware that using Click to Chat would add their phone number to Google’s search index. There’s a reason people try to keep their personal phone numbers off the internet: It’s a potential security risk and makes spam calls more likely.
Security researchers have offered suggestions to all three companies that could help keep WhatsApp phone numbers safely out of Google’s search results, but none of these changes have been implemented—and it’s possible they never will be.
For now, don’t use Click to Chat if you want to keep your WhatsApp phone number off of Google’s Search Index. If you were already using Click to Chat, delete any Click to Chat links from publicly accessible websites. Alternately, you can look into using a service like Google Voice with WhatsApp if you want to continue using Click to Chat without compromising your personal phone number.



More in Electronics & Gadgets

Once priced out of reach for many consumers, true wireless earbuds have come a long way since the original AirPods. Since 2017, products from Bose, Jabra, and Sony ...

Recently posted . 109 views

Google Photos will end free unlimited storage in June 2021: Here are t...

There are a lot of Google Photos alternatives that offer free cloud storage space. We have also mentioned the ones that are offering a lot of storage space for a ...

Recently posted . 38 views

Be careful when you search for these 8 things on Google

Whenever we need some information we simply rely on Google search. Be it addresses, websites, forms, movies or anything, Google Search has been one of our best frie...

Recently posted . 43 views


While putting together the ideal gaming setup, a comfortable chair can sometimes fall by the wayside. Rather than investing in a nice, ergonomic chair, you might sp...

Recently posted . 46 views

WhatsApp privacy: What happens to your account if you don't accept new...

Last week, Facebook-owned WhatsApp made it clear that it will go ahead with its new privacy policy update. But at the same time, the company will allow users to rea...

Recently posted . 150 views

Twitter rolls out voice DM feature for users in India, here's how it w...

Twitter has rolled out audio direct messages feature for users in India, Brazil and Japan. The platform already has a voice tweet feature.  

Recently posted . 71 views



Thought of the day

There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these.
Michael Nolan