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THERE are tonnes of quick and easy ways to lock down your WhatsApp chats.

By digging into the app's settings you can ensure your private messages are safe from prying eyes – here are three to try today.

1There are tonnes of quick and easy ways to lock down your WhatsApp chatsCredit: Getty WhatsApp lock

Locking your WhatsApp separately to your iPhone is very important.

It means people who are using your phone can't read your texts.

To set this up you need to head to your WhatsApp settings.

Then click "Account" and then "Privacy".

From here, you can switch on "Screen Lock" with either Touch ID or Face ID.

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You'll also be able to pick a duration time for when the ID is required again.

Now whenever you go to open the app, it'll ask you for your prints or a picture of your face to check it's really you reading your private chats.

You can still read and quick reply to messages in your notification window, so the tool isn't foolproof.

You'll also be able to answer WhatsApp calls.

You can always disable all message previews in your iPhone settings.

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WhatsApp also has a recently-added feature that will automatically self-destruct new texts after a day.

The new update is aimed at boosting your privacy – by destroying old WhatsApp messages.

You can set Disappearing Messages to automatically turn on for all new chats – without affecting existing conversations.

And two new durations have been added for Disappearing Messages, 24 hours and 90 days.

So now you can choose from four options in total: 24 hours, 7 days, 90 days or Off.

Go to Settings > Account > Privacy and then turn on Default Message Timer.

This feature only rolled out a few weeks ago, so make sure you've updated WhatsApp to its latest version.

Bear in mind that this system isn't perfect.

Someone could still screenshot or copy your texts to keep a record of them.

So if you really want to keep something off the internet, consider not posting it – unless you're messaging someone you absolutely trust.

Two-step verification

Finally, you should turn on two-step verification right now.

It's an extra step for verifying your phone number, to help keep hackers out.

Hackers regularly try to break into WhatsApp accounts.

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Hijacking a WhatsApp account is an easy way to gain the trust of your friends and family, allowing even more sinister scams to be enacted.

To turn on two-step verification, go to Settings > Account and toggle the setting to On.

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DC insider: Deleted Jan. 6 texts are ‘very clearly a conspiracy’

While President Barack Obama gave the executive order for the operation that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death in Pakistan on May 11, 2011, it was under President Joe Biden’s watch that another top al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 31, 2022. Afghanistan is now under the control of the far-right Taliban, but al-Zawahiri’s death sends out a message that even in a Taliban-controlled country, a leader al-Qaeda terrorist can’t hide from U.S. forces.

Leon Panetta, who served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and later, secretary of defense under Obama, discussed al-Zawahiri’s death during an August 3 appearance on MSNBC — whose Andrea Mitchell noted now how “astonishing” it was that “as far as we know, they were no civilian deaths” even though the operation was carried out in the middle of Downtown Kabul. And Mitchell also brought up the January 6 committee’s investigation and the disappearance of Secret Service texts.

Panetta, now 84, said of al-Zawahiri’s death, “I pay tremendous tribute to our intelligence forces, our military forces that were involved, the CIA…. There’s a tremendous amount of planning involved in those kind of attacks. The ability to do constantly reconnaissance, to gather intelligence, to know that you have the right target, to be able to hit that target without any kind of collateral damage, I think, is a tribute to their capabilities. And in the end, I do think it completes a very important mission that we began on 9/11, which was to make sure we would go after those who were involved in the attack on 9/11…. It really does send a message that you don’t attack the United States and get away with it.”

READ MORE: Secret Service scrambling to explain deleted Jan. 6 texts to 'skeptical' House committee members: report

Panetta, who also served as White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton, noted that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri were the “key planners” of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 — and now, both of them have been killed by U.S. forces.

Mitchell asked Panetta, however, if he was worried that terrorists — after learning that al-Zawahiri was in Kabul at the time of his death — might consider Afghanistan a “safe haven” because the Taliban “have clearly not lived up to their agreement not to harbor terrorists after the U.S. withdrawal.”

Panetta told Mitchell, “The Taliban is now in charge of Afghanistan; there’s no question that they’re providing a safe haven for terrorists…. The fact that al-Zawahiri, one of the top leaders of al-Qaeda, could simply walk into Kabul, get an apartment in the middle of the capitol, not have anybody raise any questions sends a real signal that the Taliban is going to continue to provide a safe haven for terrorism.”

The former CIA director went on to say that terrorism has “metastasized in many ways.”

READ MORE: 'Coverup of treason': Trump-appointed IG, facing investigation, was aware of missing Secret Service and DHS texts far earlier

Panetta told Mitchell, “It’s ISIS, it’s Boko Haram, it’s al-Shabab in North Africa, and it continues to be al-Qaeda. So, we are facing, and continue to face, a real threat of a terrorist attack either on the United States or elsewhere. That’s one of the major flashpoints that we have to control.”

Mitchell brought up another form of violent extremism: White nationalist violence in the United States, asking Panetta to weigh on the disappearance of U.S. Secret Service texts from January 6, 2021. And he responded, “Andrea, this is another major concern: that, obviously, officials out of the Trump Administration were taking steps to make sure that potential evidence involved in January 6 would not be there. I really do think that the Justice Department has to investigate the loss of this kind of critical evidence…. This was a deliberate effort to make sure that very important evidence regarding what the players were doing at the Pentagon, at the Secret Service and elsewhere were saying and doing on January 6 — all of which is very relevant to the investigation into what happened.”

When Mitchell asked Panetta, “You’re saying this is a cover-up?” he responded, “I don’t think there’s any question that when you go from agency to agency and find out that key messages have been deleted, something’s going on here that resembles very clearly a conspiracy.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

Jan. 6-related Texts Wiped 'From Agency To Agency' Looks Like 'Conspiracy': Panetta www.youtube.com

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