How to Protect Your Whatsapp Account from Being Hacked
With more than 1 billion active users globally, WhatsApp is arguably one of the most popular messaging applications out there. However, popularity comes with a price and WhatsApp hacks or at least attempts to hack WhatsApp accounts are quite common. Our blog has talked about certain aspects of WhatsApp security before. You can check out our older entries about how it is possible to hack a WhatsApp account via voicemail or how to reset a WhatsApp password to learn more on the topic. In this blog post, however, we discuss certain measures that the users can take in order to protect their WhatsApp account from hacking.
Protect WhatsApp with a Lock App
One of the most basic ways to avoid a WhatsApp hack is using a lock pattern to access your account. Although WhatsApp doesn't provide us with such a feature yet, there are a lot of third-party lock apps out there that can help you safeguard your account from an unsolicited breach. How does a lock app work? It uses the same basic principle that any smartphone has where you can set a pattern to unlock your screen. Although it might seem tedious to enter the pattern or a password each time you want to access WhatsApp, please consider using it to secure your account.
Perhaps some users may not be familiar with two-factor or multi-factor authentication, but it should already be a default by now. You can enable two-factor authentication via WhatsApp's Security Settings. With the end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication, the possibility of a WhatsApp Hack decreases.
This type of authentication requires users to enter a temporary passcode that they receive via a text message, along with their WhatsApp password. So unless the hacker has your phone number, they cannot receive the passcode and, consequently, they shouldn't be able to access your account.
Even with the two-factor authentication, you might want to reconsider your password strength. Now, what do we mean by that? A strong password is an important element in the overall account security. And the point is that you do not need to come up with strong passwords on your own. For example, you can use Cyclonis Password Generator. Cyclonis is a free password manager tool, and it comes with a number of features that can make your life easier. It can generate a strong password for you, and you can also store it in the Private Notes section, thus making sure that you would never forget it. If you often use your apps on a desktop, this password manager might be exactly what you need.
Don't Forget to Log Out of Your Account
The approach towards WhatsApp security may differ slightly depending on whether you're using the mobile or the desktop version. The desktop version might have certain liabilities, especially if there is more than one person using the same computer. Although it should be obvious, not all users log out of their account on a desktop once they are done using the application. So how about making a new habit that will actually be beneficial to you? After all, the application notifies you every single time you log in to your account via a PC, so that is a very good way to track your app access. If you receive a notification that someone has logged in to your account, and it certainly wasn't you, that could be the first red flag that someone is trying to hack your WhatsApp account.
If You Lose Your Device
No one wants to lose their phone, but it happens sometimes. Although these days smartphones are often protected with face recognition or fingerprint scanners, these types of authentication methods do not guarantee that no one will access your phone. Just think about it like losing your credit card. You would want to prevent anyone from abusing it, right? The same goes for your smartphone and all of your apps.
If you contact the service provider when you lose your phone, they will block the SIM card immediately. As for WhatsApp, you can email the support desk, and the customer service will definitely help you deactivate your account so that no one could exploit it.
What If My Account Was Hacked
Needless to say, sometimes all these precautionary measures may not work. Sometimes you might experience a WhatsApp Hack, and that's when you have to know a list of things you can employ to prevent further information theft.
First, if you suspect that someone hacked your WhatsApp account, you might want to remove the app, and then reinstall it several times. Some security experts say that reinstalling the app at different times of the day would also stop the WhatsApp hack from causing you more trouble. Removing and reinstalling the application is burdensome, but you may not have another choice. After all, your personal information is more important than that. In fact, some recommend reinstalling WhatsApp every day, so don't be surprised if, eventually, you will have to resort to that.
Second, if your WhatsApp got hacked, the hackers might use your account to send phishing messages and other corrupted content. Hence, it is a good idea to notify your friends and relatives about it. You have to tell them that they mustn't respond to the messages that come from your number, especially if those messages come with outgoing links. If you fail to inform them about your WhatsApp Hack, it could lead to further personal data theft and even more hacks. So it's not just about you, it's about being responsible for other users, too.
Finally, we would like to go back to one of the aspects we have mentioned already, and that is deactivating the account. While we talked about deactivating your account in the case of losing your device, you can also apply this measure if someone hacks your WhatsApp Account. You can deactivate your account by reaching WhatsApp's technical support via Suppor@watshapp.com. When you send them the email, make sure that you include this line into the message:
Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account
You can also use the phrase above in the subject line of the email. After that, you should provide your phone number with the calling code (+1 in front of your number if you're from the United States). Then, the customer service will be able to help deactivate your account.
As you can see, removing the application and installing it again might be the best (albeit highly cumbersome) way to prevent hackers from accessing your account again. At the end of the day, you have to realize that employing a number of security measures is highly important. Even the best of locks cannot prevent extremely skillful hackers from entering a target system, so at least you should do everything in your power to make it harder for these criminals to reach your personal data.