How To Hide Your Phone Number in Telegram
Telegram is one of the most secure messaging apps available. It’s also one of the most popular messaging platforms, with over 100 million active users. It is known for being secure, reliable, private and free. Each of those characteristics, along with an intuitive interface, a solid platform, and ease of use have made Telegram what it is today.
Like WhatsApp, Telegram chats are reasonably secure. Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram chats are server to client rather than client to client; however, it uses a custom-built security protocol to ensure that your messages cannot be read. Also unlike WhatsApp, Telegram will never sell out the privacy of its users. Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram has promised he will never sell out, even under pressure from governments.
Hide your phone number in Telegram
Even if you are meticulous about how you send, receive and delete messages, you can still end up betraying your own identity on Telegram if someone sees your phone number. How can you hide your phone number in Telegram? It’s a simple question, with a not so simple answer.
The short answer is that there is no way to manually hide your number, and you must have a valid phone number to create and verify your Telegram account.
The good news is that you don’t really have to hide your number. Telegram only uses your phone number as verification. A username, which you create when you set up your account, is used for everything else.
Other Telegram users will only be able to see your phone number if you have theirs stored in your phone. That includes friends, anyone in your phone contacts and anyone you have willingly shared your phone number with.
For example, if you make a new friend on Telegram or give your username to that cute guy or girl you see in the coffee shop, they will not see your phone number until you have theirs or you have given them yours. Only once you have added their contact information to the contacts in your phone will they be able to see your number.
It is a simple system that maintains a semblance of privacy. As long as you do not add the person’s number to your phone contacts, all they will see is your Telegram username.
There is, however, a way to circumvent this, giving you the ability to add people to your contacts without them seeing your number. To do so, follow these steps:
- Open Telegram and tap “Settings.”
- Tap “Privacy and Security,” scroll down, and tap “Data Settings.”
- Toggle “Sync Contacts.”
- Your contacts will no longer sync, keeping anyone from viewing your number.
Other useful Telegram privacy tips
Telegram is already a secure, private app when installed. Messages are stored on your device, not on Telegram’s servers, keeping them safe from prying eyes. They cannot be forwarded to other people, which keeps them from being accidentally seen by the wrong person. And when a message is deleted, it’s deleted for both parties – so you can control what the other person sees in the chat.
There are, however, a few tweaks you can make to Terminal to make your conversations even more private. Here are just a couple of ways to make Telegram more secure.
Telegram has a Secret Chat feature that uses end-to-end encryption and will self-destruct at a preset time. You will need to set a timer for these chats, but aside from that the process is automatic. For those chats you never want found, this is a very cool feature.
- Open a secret chat in Telegram.
- Select the three dot menu icon.
- Select “Set self-destruct timer” and set a time.
Once the timer has started, all messages within that chat session will be deleted when it expires.
Hide screenshots from your phone gallery
If you don’t want your Telegram screenshots appearing in your phone’s media gallery, you can hide them. You can specify exactly what media can and cannot be viewed from outside Telegram, which can save you from accidentally revealing pictures while scrolling through your photos.
- Select Telegram Settings.
- Toggle “Save to gallery” to Off.
- Open the Settings app.
- Select “Privacy and Photos.”
- Toggle “Telegram” to off.
You will still be able to view that media from within Telegram, but it will not be visible from anywhere else on your device.
Set a Passcode
If others have access to your phone and you want to maintain your privacy, you can set a passcode for Telegram. This locks down the app and stops anyone else from being able to use or view the app unless they know your passcode.
- Open Telegram and tap “Settings.”
- Tap “Privacy and Security.”
- Tap “Passcode,” then “Turn Passcode On.”
- Enter and re-enter your passcode, if prompted.
From now on, you will need to enter your PIN when you first start Telegram. Make sure you remember your PIN or store it in a safe place – it is the only way to access your Telegram account.
Hide Last seen for selected contacts in Telegram
As you likely know, Telegram shows other people the last time you used the app. If you’re trying to avoid someone or want to chat without being seen, follow these steps.
- Open “Settings” in the Telegram app.
- Select “Privacy and Security.”
- Tap “Last Seen”
- Select either Everybody, My Contacts or Nobody. You can also set exceptions. This allows you to add a contact that will always be excluded from the last seen notifier.
You cannot hide your phone number in Telegram, but you should not need to. As long as you remember to not add someone’s contact into your phone, or remove them as a contact, they will not see your number.