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Agents warned of GDPR and image risks when using personal WhatsApp number

Many agents may communicate with vendors and potential buyers over WhatsApp but could your profile picture be harming client relations.

Previous analysis by YourBusinessNumber found that two thirds of respondents now communicate with clients and colleagues using instant message platforms such as WhatsApp, with a quarter of us doing so using our personal phones. 

But the firm warns that agents should consider how professional their profile picture is if using their own device and the message it sends to clients.


New Research from YourBusinessNumber has revealed that one in 10 people admit to judging a colleague or client due to their WhatsApp profile photo or status update.

A third of respondents weren’t aware that WhatsApp actually has a setting that will only allow those saved in a contact list to view profile photos or status updates. 

George Lineker, co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, said: “We’re all guilty of sharing some suspect photos and status updates via the plethora of social media platforms available today. WhatsApp is no different, as it bridges the gap between a social media profile and a channel of communication. 

“Unfortunately, for many of us, this channel of communication doubles up in both a personal and professional capacity and so what we share with our friends is also often seen by clients and colleagues. 

“There are ways around this and by heading to your privacy settings, you can prevent individual contacts from viewing those professionally inappropriate photos and status updates, although this a long and laborious process.”

He warns that using your personal WhatsApp account for work is actually a breach of their user terms and agents could well find themselves also breaching their workplace GDPR policy.

Lineker added: “Your best bet is to separate both aspects of your life via the WhatsApp business app. 

“While this does require an additional account, purchasing a secondary business number is a quick and affordable workaround to having a second handset.”


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