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?
Hacking a WhatsApp account is difficult, but it is not impossible. There are many ways by which your WhatsApp account can be hacked and in such a way that the hacker can spy on your messages without even letting you know. Here are some popular methods which hackers use to hack WhatsApp –
- WhatsApp Web – In this method, the hacker will get access to your WhatsApp account using WhatsApp Web service. It requires physical access to your phone for reading the QR code.
- WhatsApp OTP scam – In this scam, the scammer sends a message to the victim and ask for the WhatsApp verification code. If the victim falls into the trap, WhatsApp can be hacked easily.
- Mac Spoofing – MAC spoofing is the process of changing or masking the real MAC address of your device. This technique gives your phone access to the man-in-the-middle (or hacker) so he can monitor all your activities.
- Spying applications – Hacker can also install spying apps on your phone which can secretly read your notifications, keystrokes, and even record your screen.
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
Two-step verification is a security feature provided by WhatsApp which adds an extra security layer to your account. When two-step verification is enabled, if someone tries to login to your WhatsApp, then they needs to enter a PIN code for verification. Hacker can get access to your account only after entering the correct PIN code, which is not possible until and unless you give it to him by yourself. Here’s how you can enable two-step verification on your WhatsApp –
- Open WhatsApp on your phone.
- Click more options (menu) at the top-right corner of the screen.
- Go to Settings > Account.
- Click Two-step verification option.
- Now tap the Enable button and then enter your PIN code. Re-enter it again in the next step to confirm.
- At last, provide your email address which can be used as a recovery method if you forget your PIN.
2. Lock WhatsApp app
Anyone who knows your phone password/lock can easily read your WhatsApp messages. To prevent this, simply add an extra security layer by locking the WhatsApp app on your phone. For this task, you can use a third-party application like AppLock or use your phone’s built-in app locker (if there is any). WhatsApp has also added a new fingerprint lock within its app. Here’s how you can enable it –
- Open WhatsApp and click menu at the top-right corner.
- Go to Settings > Account > Privacy.
- Scroll down and click Fingerprint lock option.
- Enable Unlock with fingerprint button.
- After that, confirm your fingerprint.
- By default, it will lock WhatsApp automatically after 30 minutes. You can change it Immediately or After 1 minute.
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.