Nobody wants to get hacked or have their smartphones stolen. But, in case the worst scenario happens, Telegram developers have allowed users to self-destruct their accounts if they're not online for quite a long time.
Fortunately, the crossover messaging app has a default self-destruct mechanism, and that is if you're not online for six months, the app will automatically delete your account and all its data.
"If you stop using Telegram and don't come online for at least six months, your account will be deleted along with all messages, media, contacts, and every other piece of data you store in the Telegram cloud," the company describes.
However, it's only the default setting. Here's what you can do to tweak it, and your must-do if you get your phones stolen.
How to Self-Destruct Telegram
First of all, launch the app on your iOS or Android devices and then pull up its settings by tapping the gear button in the lower-right of your screen. There will be an option called 'Privacy and Security,' which triggers several options when you click on it.
You will see the 'Automatically delete my account' option among them. As we've previously mentioned, the default setting is the sixth month. But if you don't trust yourself or you want to make it shorter or longer, you can click on this option. There will be a dropdown from 1, 3, 6, or 12 months.
Unfortunately, if you get your phone stolen, that means you can never restore your Telegram account. The platform does not store any information on its cloud hosting service; hence it's impossible. Telegram uses phone numbers as the sole mode of verification, and whoever has the number has the account.
However, if you did manage to link your Telegram account to another device, such as a PC, you still have a chance to secure your account.
First, head over to Telegram Settings and Privacy and Security to turn on Two-Step Verification. It prevents malicious third-party users to access your account. If you want a fresh restart, go to Settings and Devices to terminate all the sessions on the old device.
But if you don't, well, the best shot is to contact your phone provider to block your old SIM and replace it with a new one.
In other news, Telegram has been the most popular mass exodus place after WhatsApp rolled out its controversial privacy terms update earlier this year.
The new update would force WhatsApp users to give their consent to share their data with the messaging app's parent company, Facebook. While WhatsApp has vehemently denied the shady business model, Facebook is no stranger to breaching its users' privacy.
Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk has also endorsed Telegram and Signal. After his tweet, Telegram was downloaded over 5,6 million times globally, according to CNBC.
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