For some people, WhatsApp is the primary way they communicate with friends and family. But how can you protect an app you use so often? Here’s how to secure your WhatsApp account.
Set up Two-Step Verification
Two-step verification is the best step you can take to protect your WhatsApp account. Commonly, called 2FA, when you enable it, WhatsApp adds a second layer of protection to your account.
After you enable 2FA, you’ll have to type a six-digit PIN to log in to your WhatsApp account.
Even if your phone is stolen or someone uses a phishing method to steal your SIM card, they won’t be able to access your WhatsApp account.
To enable Two-Step Verification, open the WhatsApp app on your iPhone or Android device. Go to Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification, and then tap “Enable.”
On the next screen, type a six-digit PIN, tap “Next,” and then confirm your PIN on the following screen.
Next, type the email address you want to use to reset your PIN if you forget it or tap “Skip.” On the next screen, confirm your email address.
Two-Step Verification is now enabled. To make sure you don’t forget your six-digit PIN, WhatsApp periodically asks you to type it before you can access the app.
If you forget your PIN, you’ll have to reset it before you can access your WhatsApp account again.
Enable Fingerprint or Face ID Lock
You might already protect your iPhone or Android phone with biometrics. As an additional measure, you can protect WhatsApp with a fingerprint or Face ID lock, as well.
To do so, on your Android phone, open WhatsApp and tap the Menu button. Next, go to Settings > Account > Privacy. Scroll to the bottom of the list, and then tap “Fingerprint Lock.”
Toggle-On the “Unlock with Fingerprint” option.
Now, touch the fingerprint sensor on your device to confirm your fingerprint. You can also select the amount of time before authentication is needed after each visit.
On iPhone, you can use Touch or Face ID (depending on your device) to protect WhatsApp.
To do so, open WhatsApp and go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock. Here, toggle-On the “Require Face ID” or “Require Touch ID” option.
After the feature is enabled, you can increase the length of time after which WhatsApp will lock after each visit. From the default option, you can switch to one or 15 minutes, or one hour.
WhatsApp encrypts all chats by default, but you might want to make sure. If you share sensitive information over the app, it’s best to make sure the encryption is working.
To do this, open a chat, tap the person’s name at the top, and then tap “Encryption.” You see a QR and long security code below.
You can compare it with your contact to verify it, or ask your contact to scan the QR code. If it matches, you’re all good!
Don’t Fall for Common Scams and Forwards
Because WhatsApp is so popular, there are new scams every day. The only rule you need to remember is not to open any link forwarded to you from an unknown contact; these are normally smishing attacks.
WhatsApp now includes a handy “Forwarded” tag at the top, which makes it easier to spot these messages.
No matter how tempting the offer might be, do not open a link or provide your personal information to any website or person you don’t know on WhatsApp.
Disable Auto Group Addition
By default, WhatsApp makes it very easy to add anyone to a group. If you give your number to a salesperson, you might end up in several promotional groups.
You can now stop this problem at the source. WhatsApp has a new setting that blocks anyone from automatically adding you to a group.
To enable this on your iPhone or Android device, go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups, and then tap “Nobody.”
If you’ve already joined a group you want to exit, open the group chat, and then tap the group name at the top. On the next screen, scroll down and tap “Exit Group.”
Tap “Exit Group” again to confirm.
Change Your Privacy Settings
WhatsApp gives you complete control over who can view your private information, and in what context. If you want, you can hide your “Last Seen,” “Profile Photo,” and “Status” from everyone except your closest friends and family.
To do so, go to Settings > Account > Privacy to change these settings.
Block and Report
If someone is spamming or harassing you on WhatsApp, you can easily block them. To do so, open the relevant conversation in WhatsApp, and then tap the person’s name at the top.
On an iPhone, scroll down and tap “Block Contact”; on Android, tap “Block.”
Tap “Block” in the popup.
Is WhatsApp taking up too much storage space on your phone? You can use the built-in storage management tool to free up some valuable space!
Set up a PIN before someone else gets the chance
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Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge
Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service is incredibly easy to set up, but this easy setup process means that your account is open to abuse if you’re not careful. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to enable an extra layer of security on your account, which means that you won’t lose it if your six-digit activation code gets compromised.
These security options unfortunately won’t stop you from a serious hack such as the one that hit Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. What it will do is offer another layer of protection if someone manages to trick you into sharing your security code, which is a process known as “social hacking.”
If you need any convincing about why it’s a good idea to use this extra security, then allow me to share a friend’s recent experience about what can go wrong when you don’t.
Bleary-eyed one Sunday morning, she received a WhatsApp message from a close friend that asked if she could forward over a six-digit code that she was just about to receive via SMS. Without thinking, and because she trusted her friend, she sent over the code and suddenly found herself logged out of her WhatsApp account.
You probably realized what happened. That wasn’t just any six-digit code; it was the six-digit code that WhatsApp sends to your mobile number via SMS to associate with your WhatsApp account. In sharing that number, my friend had inadvertently allowed the attacker to log in to her account.
Since her attacker now had control of her account, they were then able to send messages from it to any contacts she was in the same group chat with. That’s how the attacker was able to ask for my friend’s six-digit verification code via another friend’s number; they’d gained control of that account as well and used it to message every contact they could, trying to rope them into the scam.
In theory, having your WhatsApp account taken over should be a fairly easy situation to resolve: just enter your phone number into the app and have it send you another six-digit code. The problem is that hackers can spam your number with a bunch of incorrect six-digit codes so that you get locked out of your account for up to 12 hours. Then, if you hadn’t set up a PIN of your own, this leaves an attacker free to set up one of their own on your account, locking you out for seven days in total.
That’s why it’s so important to remember these two rules:
- Never share your six-digit WhatsApp code with anyone — not your parents, not your best friend, and definitely not your sibling. No one will ever have a legitimate reason to ask for the code that WhatsApp sends you over SMS, so don’t even think about sharing it.
- Should the worst happen, then setting up a PIN will act as another barrier to stop someone from being able to sign in to your account, and it will stop this nightmare from happening to you.
How to secure your WhatsApp account
Somewhat confusingly, the PIN is also six digits long. In order to set it up:
- Open WhatsApp and tap the three dots on the top right of the screen
- Hit “Settings” > “Account” and then pick “Two-step verification”
- Hit “Enable,” and then pick your six-digit PIN. The gallery of screenshots below will walk you through the whole process.
If you think that your WhatsApp account can’t be hacked, you need to think about it again. The cybersecurity expert says that anything on the internet is vulnerable to be hacked in one way or another. It depends on how much effort it would take but nothing is impossible. Some will require a team of professional hackers while some others can be hacked easily by anyone.
Now if we talk about WhatsApp, it mainly deals with our personal data such as messages, photos, videos, documents, voice notes, etc. As WhatsApp contains sensitive information of the users, it is always on the list of hackers. Sometimes your friends and loved ones also want to spy on your WhatsApp messages.
No matter how much secure WhatsApp claims itself to be, there is always a risk of getting hacked by someone. In this guide, we will discuss how you can keep your WhatsApp account secure on both iPhone/iOS and Android devices. Without letting you wait any further, let’s get started.
How your WhatsApp account can be hacked?
How to protect your WhatsApp account from hackers
Prevention is better than regret later. Being said that, it is always good to take all security measures in advance to prevent your WhatsApp from getting hacked by someone. Here we discussed some useful tips that can help you to keep your WhatsApp safe from being hacked –
1. Enable two-step verification
2. Lock WhatsApp app
3. Monitor WhatsApp Web active sessions regularly
Anyone including your friends can also hack into your WhatsApp account using WhatsApp Web. For this, the hacker just needs to read the QR code from your WhatsApp. To hide all footprints and remove WhatsApp Web notification, the hacker can also disable WhatsApp notifications on your phone.
You should regularly check devices where your WhatsApp Web is logged in. Simply, open WhatsApp, go to the menu and click WhatsApp Web option. Here you will find your active sessions. If you find any suspicious device which isn’t logged in by you, then click “Logout from all devices” option to revoke your account access remotely.
4. Don’t tell your password to anyone
Your security is all in your hands. Don’t tell your password to anyone, even to your friends and family (especially if you are insecure and don’t want others to spy on your WhatsApp chats). Sometimes your loved ones are the ones who want to hack your WhatsApp account. Well, if you keep your phone password-protected and don’t give to it anyone, then WhatsApp is secure for sure.
5. Don’t share your OPT with anyone
As we mentioned about WhatsApp OTP scam previously, a scammer can send you a message from an unknown number pretending as WhatsApp technical team and ask you to share your account verification code. If you get any message like this, don’t fall into the trap as it can hack your WhatsApp.
Instead, report that number to WhatsApp and block it. To do this, open the WhatsApp chat, tap three dots at the top-right corner, then click More > Report. After that, you will see a pop-up box. Click the Report option again. By default, WhatsApp will block the number and delete the chat’s messages automatically.
6. Don’t use unknown free Wi-Fi
Everyone loves free Wi-Fi in stores, parks, coffee shops, and other public places. If you are very concerned about your WhatsApp privacy and don’t want to give any chance to let the hackers hack your account, then you should not connect any free and unknown Wi-Fi to your phone. By doing this, there is a great risk that your phone can be hacked, not just WhatsApp only. If the hacker is connected to the same Wi-Fi network, he can very easily view your unencrypted messages.
7. Enable end-to-end encryption
The end-to-end encryption is a security feature which makes everything encrypted so that only the sender and receiver can view the data, and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp. This feature is enabled on WhatsApp by default, which means all your messages, documents, status, photos, videos, voice calls, and video calls are encrypted. You don’t have to turn on end-to-end encryption manually, however, you can enable security notifications to receive notifications when someone’s security code is changed. For this, go to Settings > Account > Security.
8. Don’t install apps from unknown sources
There are so many spying apps available (especially for Android) which can spy on your WhatsApp secretly. For example, if an app has access to view notifications on your phone, it can view your WhatsApp messages. Similarly, a screen recorder app can record your phone screen and keylogger can save anything that you will type on your keyboard.
To keep your phone secure, make sure to install apps from authorized sources only such as Play Store. Don’t install apps from unknown sources and if you need to use them, don’t give them any administrative permissions or special access like notifications access, accessibility, appear on top permission, etc.
9. Keep WhatsApp updated always
Another important thing is to keep your WhatsApp updated to the most recent version always. Why it is necessary is because updating the app fixes bugs and security issues. It would be easier for hackers to hack the first version of the WhatsApp as compared to the latest version. You can update WhatsApp from the official app store on your phone (Google Play Store on Android and Apple App Store on iPhone/iOS).
10. Update your phone regularly
Last but not the least, you should also keep your phone software updated to the latest version. The key to hack into your WhatsApp account passes from your phone, that’s why you also need to focus on making your phone secured as a whole. The reason why updating the software is necessary is because it brings new security features.
So these are some methods that you can use to prevent your WhatsApp account from being hacked. You might be interested to read an article on how to check if your WhatsApp has been hacked. At last, we just want to summarize everything by saying that the safety of your data is all in your hand.
Make sure to take all security measures and preventions before it’s too late. We hope you find this guide helpful. If you need any assistance or answer to any of your queries, feel free to leave a comment below. Share this post with your friends so they can also be aware of WhatsApp hacks.
- February 13, 2017Cyber crime, How to’s
From the first day, WhatsApp application is designed to help you stay in touch with friends, share vital information in case of emergencies, re-connect with separate family members, or you can simply use it to chat because it is free. Some of your favorite moments are shared via WhatsApp. It is clear that this is an application that offers much more than a text message to friends. Thanks to possibility to make calls, share photos and video clips, WhatsApp is suitable for many activities, both of business and private feature. However, like other social applications, due to the large number of users, WhatsApp is suitable for hacker attacks and theft of user data. Here is how can you secure your WhatsApp.
Lock your account
WhatsApp itself does not offer function to lock your account with a password or PIN, but you can find many programs on the Internet that allow this solid type of protection. Made by independent companies, this can be very useful if your phone is found in unwanted hands. Messenger and Chat Block and Lock for WhatsApp are just some of the applications that offer this option which are free, small for downloading and easy to use.
It is now possible to hide status “Last Seen at…” in the settings option of the application itself. In this way, other users will not see that you are online even when you are, and it will be harder for them to “follow” you. It is a small detail that may seem insignificant, so it is no wonder thatWhatsApp let users select whether they want the world to know when they were last active. However, when someone is trying to hack your account, this information could be of a high importance if you were last seen in a few hours, and you will be absent for a long time and hence you would be powerless to protect your account. On the other hand, hide “last active” labels may simply mean the preservation of your privacy on the additional level. Settings for this option can be changed in each version of WhatsApp application.
Visibility of your profile picture
It can happen almost certainly that a profile picture that you have on WhatsApp is linked with the one from a social network, or that it is located on the site of a company. In this case, if your image is publicly available, the hacker can use it, search for you on the Internet through the services of Google’s image search and get into possession of your valuable and personal data. It is therefore advised that the picture is only visible to people you have in your contact list, or shared among the people you know. This option is easy to configure on the application, in all its versions.
When using the application, it is important to know that WhatsApp service will never contact you directly, orsend messages to you through chat, unless you contact them first. This means that you should strictly ignore every message that offers additional options regarding voice messages, calls, payment services, etc. These are con-artists who try to entice users and steal their personal information or send viruses. Hence, it is very important to ignore and delete messages of this type.
Sharing private data and VPN usage
As in actual communication, the use of common sense in sending WhatsApp messages is more than desirable. Therefore, avoid sending personal data such as address, phone number, credit card or e-mail addresses. Such information should not be accessible to anyone, and your closest friends will surely already know this basic information. Therefore, this measure of personal safety is your best protection. What is also recommended is installing a VPN and thus raise the security level higher. The VPN helps to encrypt your internet traffic ensuring that data passing from your device to the end destination cannot be intercepted by 3rd parties, especially when using public Wi-Fi.
Security contents of the message
What intrigues users mostly when it comes to this application is the safety and privacy of the contents of the conversation. This messaging app introduced a complete end to end encryption of all messages that users send. More than a billion users of WhatsApp know that any text messages, videos and pictures are fully protected. It means that no one than the sender and recipient of a message can find its content –not even employees of WhatsApp. This is because your messages are locked, and only the recipient and you have a spatial key required to unlock them to read. As additional protection, each message you send has its own unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically: there is no need to include special settings to send messages. In this way, WhatsApp enhanced security against hackers and criminals who are now unable to get into user profiles. Anyone who wants to activate this feature should only install the latest version and it will be automatically set.
Security and privacy might be the most sensitive topic nowadays, but in such cases, you can use the given tips and enhance your privacy settings. Don’t forget resetting your phone if you want to give it to someone else. Make sure all data are deleted so you wouldn’t have to worry about its availability. This all takes only a few minutes to secure your WhatsApp but it’s worth it. Remember, better safe than sorry.
Thomas lives and works as an Information Security Analyst in Baton Rouge, though his family originates from Italy. He is 28 years old, adores outdoor activities and he spends most of his time working from home in the company of his dog Reggie and his two goldfish. When it comes to humans, his favorite one is his girlfriend, Clara.
The popular communication service WhatsApp introduced end-to-end encryption last year and now is rolling out Two-Step Verification. Here’s how to enable it.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app for users across the globe with an estimated 1.2 Billion active users sending 50 Billion messages daily. The company introduced end-to-end encryption last year and this week it’s rolling out Two-Step Verification (2SV). This extra layer of security will help prevent someone from accessing your messages.
Enable Two-Step Verification on WhatsApp
To turn it on open the app and go to Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification and tap Enable.
Now enter a six-digit passcode – you’ll need to verify it a second time. You’ll also need to enter an email address in case you need your passcode reset. You have the option to skip this step, but you might not want to as you could be locked out of your account for seven days (more on that below).
Note: Before enabling 2SV, make sure you make a passcode that you can remember easily and enter an email address in case you forget it. Otherwise, you could be locked out of your account for a full week. The company says:
If you have two-step verification enabled, your number will not be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp within 7 days of last using WhatsApp without your passcode. Thus, if you forget your own passcode, but did not provide an email to disable two-step verification, even you will not be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp within 7 days of last using WhatsApp.
We have been advocates of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Two Step Verification since Google started rolling it out for its users several years ago. And we highly recommend you enable it on all of the online services you use that support it.
For more details on the services that support 2FA and 2SV and how to enable it, check out our Two-Factor Authentication Guide.
Also, while we’re on the topic of WhatsApp, you might be interested in the following articles:
It only takes a few seconds and could prevent someone else from getting access to your messages.
Messaging service WhatsApp is giving you the option to add an extra layer of security to your account with two-step verification.
WhatsApp already encrypts conversations and does all it can to ensure your data stays private. The new two-step verification feature will make it harder for other people to access your account.
Two-step verification adds an extra step when you log in to WhatsApp. First the service will send you a random passcode when you sign in, then you’ll need to enter a six-digit passcode.
To turn on two-step verification, open the app and then go to Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification.
Select Enable, then enter a six-digit code when prompted. You’ll also need to enter an email address for WhatsApp to use should you forget your passcode.
If you choose not to enter an email address and forget your passcode, WhatsApp will lock you out of your account for seven days. After those seven days, WhatsApp will let you reauthorize your number without the passcode, but any messages sent to you during those seven days will remain undelivered.
In other words, make the passcode something you can remember, and enter an email address in case you forget it.
WhatsApp Scam: Recently a security warning was given by WhatsApp that hackers can take control of contacts and messages in their hands by hacking your account. But by following some tips, the possibilities of WhatsApp hacking can be reduced.
Every kind of information is available on the popular instant messaging app WhatsApp. For this, many layer security is provided by WhatsApp. But very few people follow these security layers. This makes it easy for any hackers to hack WhatsApp, which leads to incidents such as banking fraud. But if you take some precautions while using WhatsApp, then this incident can be avoided by WhatsApp Scam.
Let us know that recently a security warning was given by WhatsApp that hackers can take control of contacts and messages in their hands by hacking your account. For this, tips have been given in the form of WABetaInfo, a website tracking WhatsApp updates, by following which the possibilities of WhatsApp hacking can be reduced. Let us know that WhatsApp has around 2 billion active users worldwide.
WhatsApp two-step verification
According to WhatsApp, the user should use two-step verification. Also, the official version of WhatsApp should always be used. The official version of WhatsApp is available on the Apple App Store, TestFlight, and Google Play Store. According to WhatsApp, two-step verification is an effective security tool, in which your mail can be updated for two-step verification. On the other hand, if the user forgets his WhatsApp PIN, it will prove to be very helpful in resetting your account.
How to use two-step verification
- To enable two-step verification, one has to tap on WhatsApp Setting.
- After this, the two-step verification option will be visible, which has to be enabled.
- The user will have to enter a 6-digit digit and confirm.
- After this, the user has to enter an email. After this, you have to click on Next.
- Then the user will have to confirm his email again. After this, click on the save option.
Table of Contents
Despite the fact, there are numerous other instant messaging apps out there. Still, people primarily rely on WhatsApp for the reason it offers advanced security features built-in. As it is a known fact that WhatsApp is using end-to-end encryption for your chats & calls, still there are specific steps you should follow to keep your WhatsApp chats secure. Let’s discuss more about it here.
To begin with, you should consider locking your WhatsApp. Here, WhatsApp doesn’t offer any built-in feature to do so; thus you need to rely on third-party apps to keep your account locked. You can consider using WhatsApp chat locker apps to avoid cybercriminals and curious onlookers to access your important chats on WhatsApp. Working on smart algorithms, these apps help you keep all your chats & media secured from various threats.
Two-factor authentication or 2FA is a useful security feature that comes built-in on your WhatsApp account. Once you enable this feature, you will be able to add an additional layer of security to safeguard your chats. Once you enable this optional feature in your WhatsApp account, any attempt to verify your WhatsApp account or phone number will be possible with six-digit passcode. It also adds a periodic passcode to WhatsApp. To enable 2FA on your WhatsApp account, open WhatsApp and go to Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Don’t forget to mention your email address when prompted as it will help you disable 2FA when needed. Here, you will receive a link from WhatsApp to disable the 2FA in case you ever forget your six-digit PIN or passcode.
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Secure Your Privacy
WhatsApp gives you complete control over your privacy with multiple privacy settings. Here, you can decide who can see your profile photos, status, about, location, last seen, and more. It even allows you to disable Read Receipts to turn off blue ticks when the message is read. These simple yet privacy settings greatly help you manage & secure your chat privacy as per your needs. You can find privacy settings under Settings > Account > Privacy.
Disable Cloud Backups
Though this is a useful feature that helps you recover your previous chats when you switch to a new device. Here, your chats are backed up on Google Drive when you are using an Android device and on iCloud when you are using an iOS device. While all WhatsApp communication end-to-end encrypted but when you retrieve your old chats from backup messages it is not encrypted. Thus, if you are worried about your chat privacy, then you can consider disabling backup on your WhatsApp account. To do this, open WhatsApp > Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Backup to Google Drive > Never. If you want to disable this feature on iOS device, go to WhatsApp > Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Auto Backup > Off.
Check Encryption for Sensitive Conversations
As we discussed chats on WhatsApp come end-to-end encrypted still there is additional encryption you can apply for sensitive chats just to double check. To verify the encryption feature, click on contact’s name in the chat window while you are chatting and click on Encryption. Here, it will ask you to Verify Security Code. It will look like this:
Here, you need to scan the code on your contact’s phone or ask them to scan your code to verify that the messages and calls with them are end-to-end encrypted. You can even compare the 60-digit number given below to scan image to verify it.
Turn on Security Notifications
Under this feature, a new security code is generated for both the devices, when a new device accesses an existing chat. You can turn on the Show Security Notifications feature to receive notifications when a contact’s security code has changed. Here, your messages and calls will remain encrypted regardless of enabling this setting. To enable this feature on your WhatsApp, open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Security > Show Security Notifications.
How to Secure Your WhatsApp Chat
Request Your Account Information
The Request Account Info feature on WhatsApp allows you to request and export a report of your WhatsApp account settings & information. For example, it will include your profile photo and group names where you are a member. Remember this report doesn’t contain your chat history or messages. Though this feature isn’t directly related to helping you secure your WhatsApp chat, but keeping a tab on account info, you will be able to know all necessary information related to your account and tweak it when needed.
So, these are few quick and effective security tips; you should follow to keep your WhatsApp chat secured. If you know more such tips, then feel free to share your thoughts.
Here is how you can secure your WhatsApp account with two factor verification, with this added security your WhatsApp account will be highly secured against any form of hack and unauthorized access, we provide the step by step instructions on how you can activate two factor verification on your WhatsApp account and stay safe.
Whatsapp two step verification is an added security to secure users account against unauthorized account access, this security is very vital WhatsApp account hacks has been on trend recently, with two step verification users will require to provide a verification code each time they login(activate) their WhatsApp account on a new or different device.
If two step verification is activated on a WhatsApp account the user will set up a code and an email address for recovery, this code is what you will have to provide any time you login(activate) your whatsapp account on a new device, and if it’s the case of whatsapp account hack, the user wouldn’t be able to provide the code, therefore wouldn’t be granted access to your WhatsApp account, so here is how you can add this added security to your WhatsApp account with ease.
How To Activate Two Step verification on your WhatsApp account
Follow the instructions below to secure your WhatsApp account with two step verification
Open your WhatsApp account and click on the three dotted lines, then on settings
Select on Account, then click on Two Step Verification3
Enabled it and set your pin, confirm the pin and proceed4
Add email account, for recovery purposes, confirm the email and you are done.That’s all, your WhatsApp account is now secured with two step verification.
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