How to make a group chat on iPhone and customize your name, members, and more

Senior woman texting on smartphone on park bench
You can start a group chat on iPhone just like you’d start a regular text.

  • To make a group chat on iPhone, add multiple recipients to the address line of a new message.
  • Once a group chat is created, you can add members or edit the name.
  • There’s three types of group messages: group iMessage, group MMS, and group SMS.
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Group chats can be a useful tool in both your professional and personal life. Whether you’re planning a happy hour or a surprise baby shower, or you want to text hilarious memes to your besties, a group chat is a great way to relay information to multiple people at once.

Depending on the settings and types of phones people have, group chats will look different and have different capabilities. And if a group chat is getting to be too much, you can silence notifications or leave a group chat entirely. Here’s how to do it all on an iPhone.

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How to make a group chat on iPhone

Make sure you have both iMessage and MMS turned on in Settings > Messages.

1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone. It looks like a white chat bubble inside a green box.

2. Tap the Compose button in the top-right corner of the screen.

3. Begin entering the names of the people you want to include in the group chat in the To: section. You can also tap the plus + button to select people from your contacts.

Phone screenshot of a new Message
Start a group chat by entering two or more names into the address bar.

4. Type out your message, then tap the Send icon. It looks like an arrow pointing up.

iPhone screenshot of a new group iMessage
When you’re ready to send your message, tap the blue arrow.

How to add members to a group chat

New roommate? Coworker? Add them to your group chat with just a few steps. However, this only works on iMessage group chats, if everyone in the group has an iPhone.

1. Open the Messages app and navigate to the group chat you want to add someone to.

2. Tap the names at the top of the group chat, then tap info in the drop-down menu.

iPhone screenshot of an iMessage group with the info button highlighted
You can add a new member to an iMessage group chat at any time.

3. Underneath the names of the people already in the group, tap Add Contact.

iPhone screenshot of an iMessage group menu with the Add Contact button highlighted
Tap the + button to add a contact to an iMessage group chat.

4. Type in the name of the person you want to add, then tap Done.

iPhone screenshot of an address bar to add members to a group chat
Type in the name(s) of the people you want to add, or select them from your contacts list using the + button.

How to silence notifications from a group chat

1. Open the Messages app and navigate to the group chat you want to silence notifications for.

2. Tap the names at the top of the group chat, then tap info in the drop-down menu.

3. Scroll down to Hide Alerts, then tap the toggle on the right to silence notifications. It will turn green when on.

iPhone screenshot of an iMessage group menu with the Hide Alerts button highlighted
The toggle will turn green when notifications are silenced.

How to leave a group chat

1. Open the Messages app and navigate to the group chat you want to leave.

2. Tap the names at the top of the group chat, then tap info in the drop-down menu.

3. Tap Leave this Conversation. Then, tap Leave this Conversation again in the pop-up to confirm your decision.

iPhone screenshot of an iMessage group menu with the Leave this Conversation button highlighted
If you accidentally tap “Leave this Conversation,” tap “Cancel” to remain in the group chat.

iOS 14 lets you direct mention someone in an iPhone Messages group chat – here’s how to do itiOS 14 allows you to set a photo, emoji, or text as the icon for a group chat in your iPhone Messages app – here’s how to do itHow to do a group FaceTime video or voice call on an iPhone, iPad, or MacA guide to the words and phrases that cause special texting effects on your iPhone

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Apple’s iPhone has a ‘major blinking red five-alarm-fire problem with iMessage security,’ according to a cybersecurity researcher

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Apple’s iPhones are a lot less secure than Apple says, according to a new report.
  • “Apple has a MAJOR blinking red five-alarm-fire problem with iMessage security,” one cybersecurity researcher said.
  • An iMessages security exploit was used by an Israeli spyware firm to give hackers access to iPhones.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Apple’s iPhone isn’t as secure as Apple says it is, according to a bombshell new report from a group of media outlets and Amnesty International.

“Apple has a MAJOR blinking red five-alarm-fire problem with iMessage security,” Citizen’s Lab Senior Research Fellow Bill Marczak said on Sunday.

Hackers were reportedly able to remotely access and replicate data from phones tied to 37 people, primarily reporters and executives, using a software tool named Pegasus created by NSO Group.

The software is sold to governments and is considered a military-grade hacking service. With Pegasus, hackers are able to infect phones with so-called “zero-click” texts through iMessage, meaning the target user doesn’t even have to interact with the text to have their phone breached.

Moreover, the report found that even the most up to date firmware and iPhone hardware can be breached by Pegasus.

Forensic reports completed by Amnesty International and verified by Citizen’s Lab found that even iPhones running iOS 14.6, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, were susceptible to being hacked. “All this indicates that NSO Group can break into the latest iPhones,” Marczak said.

One such target with an iPhone was the fiance of slain Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, according to the report. A forensic analysis of Hatice Cengiz’s iPhone found evidence of multiple breaches starting in early October 2018 – immediately following Khashoggi’s assassination on October 2, 2018.

“Why do people say the iPhone is the more safe phone, that no one can hack?” Cengiz asks Washington Post reporter Dana Priest in a recent PBS Frontline segment regarding the spyware. “That’s what [Apple] says, the company,” Priest responds. “That’s not true.”

Following the report, NSO Group released a statement rebuking its findings and threatening a potential lawsuit. “We firmly deny the false allegations made in their report,” the statement said. “These allegations are so outrageous and far from reality that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit.”

Apple representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the specific iPhone security issues outlined in the report, and it’s unclear if an update is coming to patch the exploit.

“For over a decade, Apple has led the industry in security innovation and, as a result, security researchers agree iPhone is the safest, most secure consumer mobile device on the market,” Apple security engineering chief Ivan Krstić said in a statement to Insider. “Attacks like the ones described are highly sophisticated, cost millions of dollars to develop, often have a short shelf life, and are used to target specific individuals. While that means they are not a threat to the overwhelming majority of our users, we continue to work tirelessly to defend all our customers, and we are constantly adding new protections for their devices and data.”

Read the full report on the Pegasus spyware and iPhone security right here.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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What is Kik? Here’s what you need to know about the free messaging app

woman under the covers using smart phone messaging
Kik is a free messaging app that boasts increased privacy and anonymity as features.

  • Kik is a free messaging app that allows users to keep in touch with family and friends using Wi-Fi or your phone’s mobile data. 
  • Kik only requires an email address to sign up — there’s no need to provide a phone number. 
  • Kik is available on Android, iOS, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

While there is no shortage of free messaging apps available, Kik holds a particular appeal thanks to its increased privacy and anonymity in comparison to competitors such as WhatsApp and iMessage. Requiring only an email address to sign up, Kik boasts hundreds of millions of registered users across the globe. 

What you need to know about Kik

Kik doesn’t offer anything particularly unique in terms of how it operates on a basic level. You can message friends and family by manually adding their registered email address or scanning their custom QR code. 

what_is_kik_1
You can download Kik from your iPhone’s App Store.

However, Kik places an emphasis on the multimedia side, allowing users to send everything from gifs and emojis to sketches. You can even host live video chats as you would on apps like Skype. You can also take part in anonymous chats or promoted chats sponsored by popular entertainment brands. 

what is kik 3.PNG
There are various options to discover once you have a Kik account.

Kik is available on iOS, Android, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, making it compatible with a majority of devices. Once downloaded, you only need to provide an email to register your account and select a user ID. That ID is what identifies Kik users, which means your personal information is more secure and messaging can be done with partial or complete anonymity. 

what is kik 2.PNG
Signing up is simple.

Kik’s simplified registration process as well as its popularity with teens could make the platform more dangerous for younger people, who may find themselves talking to those they shouldn’t through Kik’s anonymous chat feature. Kik’s current age restriction is listed as 13, though the Apple App Store rates it as inappropriate for anyone younger than 17. Parents whose children are underage and have created an account on the platform can contact support@kik.com to submit an account deactivation request. 

If your child receives an inappropriate message on the platform, Kik suggests that you block and report the user before following up with local law enforcement. Kik published extensive guidelines on this topic and other safety issues involving minors, and it’s worth reading before you allow your child on the platform. 

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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