WhatsApp’s latest feature can automatically mute incoming calls if they come from an unknown number service announced today. The setting is available by going to WhatsApp’s settings, clicking “Privacy”, selecting “Calls”, and turning on the “Silence unknown callers” switch. WhatsApp says the feature will help “screen out spam, scams and calls from unknown people for better protection.”
When enabled, the feature mutes all signs of incoming calls from unknown numbers, including both audible and visual alerts in the app. However, stylized calls will still appear in your recent calls list with an “unknown caller silenced” note next to it, in case you want to call back.
The addition of the feature comes after reports of an increase in spam calls, particularly for Indian users. A month ago, TechCrunch reported that WhatsApp had introduced a new enforcement system that used machine learning to reportedly reduce spam calls by 50 percent. Now, with the new silence feature in the app, users can try to silence any spam calls that aren’t caught by the service’s automatic filters.
In addition to the silencing feature, WhatsApp says it is also adding a new “Privacy Checkup” feature designed to inform users step-by-step about the privacy and security options WhatsApp offers. The control spans several categories, including letting users choose who can contact them and adding extra security to their account, such as requiring two-step verification or biometric authentication to open the app.