From MP4 videos to GIFs, cybercriminals are using different ways to target WhatsApp users around the world. The instant messaging application was recently targeted using spyware called Pegasus to snoop on individuals around the world. For millions of WhatsApp users around the world, it’s important they know how to use some of the built-in features aimed at safety and privacy.
One of the easiest ways to secure your WhatsApp account is to enable two-step verification. An additional layer of security, this will help you get an instant alert if anyone tries to hack into your account.
To use the two-step verification, open in-app Settings. Then go to Account and then tap on the “two-step verification.” Note that you need to provide an email address which will be used later to retrieve a six-digit PIN code.
“If you receive an email to disable two-step verification, but didn’t request this, don’t click on the link. Someone could be attempting to verify your phone number on WhatsApp,” WhatsApp warns users.
Note that WhatsApp will periodically ask you to enter your PIN so that you remember the code. You cannot disable this without disabling the two-step verification.
When the phone is lost or stolen
Most of the internet companies including Google, Apple and Facebook allow you to disable unrecognized devices or remotely reset the connected device. For WhatsApp, you have two options. Once you get your new SIM number, re-enter your number and verify on a new device. The WhatsApp app on the older phone will be automatically reset since instant messenger works on one device at a time, for now. The second alternative is to email WhatsApp itself with “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account.” Make sure you provide your correct phone number (also include international format).
If you’re receiving messages from an unknown number, you can block the number and even report it. To report a WhatsApp number, tap on the sender name, scroll down to find “Report Contact” or “Report group” in case of a group. WhatsApp’s Group users can also change the settings to prevent anyone from adding you to groups without your permission.
Don’t want everyone to see your Status updates? You can always choose between “my contacts”, “my contacts except” and “only share with..” To get started, open the WhatsApp app, tap on the three dots menu to access more options, select “Status privacy.” Here choose between the said options to customise the visibility of your Status updates.
Don’t click on any link or download file that seems suspicious. Don’t download WhatsApp from unknown sources, instead of Play Store (Android ) or App Store (iPhone).