Do or not, particularly if your friends and family have decided on the app as their key messaging service, Facebook Messenger may be inevitable. I know people who have exclusively maintained Facebook accounts to continue using Messenger. But even though you’re all in with Facebook with no qualms whatsoever, there are a few Messenger features to read about while still preserving your privacy to get the best out of the app.
Tap on your profile photo at the top left of the Chat window and pick Active Status to turn it off if you don’t want people to know if you’re online and how long it’s been since you last logged on. You can also activate Dark Mode in those profile settings, which will give your eyes a break when you’re talking.
In Settings, you can configure who is allowed to give you a message. To let all of your Facebook friends contact you, only friends who have your phone number, etc., tap Privacy and then Message Delivery. Pick Phone Contacts under Priorities, and toggle off Messenger’s ability to bring in anyone in the address book of your phone.
This prohibits Facebook from getting details about persons who do not wish the organization to know more about them, which is therefore simply just a safe practice.
If you want to make Messenger even more secure, by tapping the name of a friend in a chat and selecting Switch on Secret Communications, you will trigger end-to-end encryption and messages vanish. Swiping up a chat would trigger Vanish Mode to disappear when you leave the conversation, which will not encrypt your messages but will cause them to disappear. If your touch screenshots notifications when in Vanish Mode (or vice versa), you will always get a warning, but, if it has to be said: Don’t use it to be scary.