Facebook-owned WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in India with more than 2 billion active users. It is already planning to come up with several features like multi-device functionality, Terms of Service and others soon.
While WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption feature protects users from hackers who are trying to read their messages over the network, hackers somehow still manage to get the information they need from users.
WhatsApp authenticates users on the basis of their phone number, and sends a verification code over SMS. According to the scheme, in order to “hack” a user’s account, many WhatsApp users get scam calls and messages from malicious users who ask for “help” while posing as your family or relatives. The “social engineering” usually asks for a verification code along with excuses such as “their phone network is unavailable”. As soon as the user gives the six-digit code, the hacker controls their account.
Many people fall into this trap as they don’t know anything about the way verification codes work and that helps in giving full control of their account to the attacker. Once the attacker is in, they can simply transfer the number (along with all your groups) to another number and delete your original account.
Here’s how to secure your WhatsApp account:
Enable two-step verification
The two step verification process helps WhatsApp users to protect themselves from hackers. The setting lets you set a six digit PIN on your account which will be used to unlock your account after you get the SMS verification code. Even after that, if the hacker manages to get hold of your SMS code, they won’t be able to log in to your account if they do not have this code.
Step 1) Go to WhatsApp Settings, tap on Account and then tap on Two-Step verification.
Step 2)Then enable the setting and enter a PIN. Again re enter the PIN to make sure you entered it correctly.
Step 3) WhatsApp will ask for your PIN and then they will ask you to enter your PIN again and again just to ensure that you do not forget it and get locked out of your own account.
Double check your privacy settings
It is important for users to always double check the settings so that hackers don’t control your account.
Step 1) Go to WhatsApp Settings and tap on Account and tap on Privacy.
Step 2) Now check settings for Last Seen, About, Profile Photo and Status. Make sure these are all set to “My contacts” to ensure no one who you do not know can see this information.
Step 3) Make sure that you block any messages from unknown senders asking for personal information and report them to WhatsApp using the in-chat menu.