WeChat is a popular instant messaging app with over 1 billion monthly active users. It offers features like messaging, voice/video calls, moments (social feed), and payments. However, many users are concerned about their privacy on WeChat, especially when it comes to hiding their phone numbers.
Here are some tips on how to hide and mask your phone number in WeChat:
Table of Contents
Why Hide Your Phone Number on WeChat
There are a few reasons why you may want to hide your phone number on WeChat:
- Privacy – You don’t want random people finding and contacting you directly via your phone number. Hiding it gives you more control over who can contact you.
- Security – Exposing your phone number increases risks of SIM swapping or phone number port-out fraud. Hiding it reduces this risk.
- Separate work and personal life – If you use WeChat for both professional networking and personal chats, you may want to hide your number to keep work and life separate.
How to Hide Your Phone Number in WeChat
Hiding your phone number in WeChat is simple:
- Open WeChat and go to the “Me” tab
- Tap on “Settings” > “Privacy”
- Under “Methods for Friending Me”, toggle off the “Mobile Number” option
This prevents anyone from finding and adding you via your phone number. They would need to know your WeChat ID instead.
Additional Options for Hiding Your Number
Here are some additional options you can use:
- Replace your number with a secondary number – Go to Settings > Account Security > Phone and replace with another number you rarely use. You can still take calls and SMS on your main number.
- Use a virtual phone number – Services like Google Voice or Burner let you generate a virtual phone number to use with WeChat. This keeps your real number hidden.
- Use email instead of phone number – When creating your WeChat account, use an email address rather than phone number. This ensures your phone number stays completely hidden.
Beware of WeChat Security Risks
While the above steps help increase privacy, be aware that WeChat has some security and privacy risks:
- WeChat does not offer end-to-end encryption for chats by default, exposing messages to surveillance.
- The Chinese government actively monitors and censors WeChat activity, especially for Chinese accounts.
- Third-party trackers and advertising networks have potential access to WeChat user data.
So in addition to hiding your number, also consider:
- Enabling end-to-end chat encryption in WeChat’s advanced settings
- Using a VPN to prevent monitoring of activity
- Limiting what personal information you share on WeChat
Tips for Managing Your WeChat Privacy
Here are some additional best practices for managing your privacy on WeChat:
- Review and restrict app permissions for camera, contacts, location, etc.
- Turn off location tagging and live location streaming in moments
- Hide your moments feed from strangers
- Block followers who you don’t know or trust
- Log out of WeChat when not actively using it
- Use strong and unique passwords, and enable two-factor authentication
- Avoid connecting WeChat to other social media accounts
WeChat can be highly convenient for messaging and social networking, but users should balance functionality with privacy. Hiding your phone number is a good first step to controlling your visibility and who can contact you. Combine that with restricting app permissions, enabling encryption, using a VPN, and limiting how much personal information you share. This gives you safer, more private experience with WeChat so you can focus on seamless messaging.