When one talks about secure and free messaging platforms, names like Telegram and WhatsApp are often thrown around. Of the two, WhatsApp is the largest messaging platform that offers security features like end-to-end encryption, biometrics security and more. These security features ensure that your WhatsApp account stays safe and your private conversations don’t fall into the wrong hands. Also Read - How to enable/disable dark mode on WhatsApp mobile app, Web
Despite the added security, many users fall prey to social hacking where they are duped into disclosing their WhatsApp account credentials and then subjected to harassment and blackmail by hackers. Also Read - 5 WhatsApp upcoming features to launch in 2021: Audio message playback speed, muti-device support, and more
How does social hacking happen on WhatsApp?
There might be many WhatsApp users without technical knowledge to understand the nitty-gritty of WhatsApp and its security features. Hackers use that to their advantage by duping these users into revealing their WhatsApp authentication code. They use methods like promotional activities, a promise of cash prizes while some hackers also use false identities of the user’s family members to carry out this hack. Also Read - WhatsApp's latest update for Android, iOS in India: Ability to import third-party sticker packs, and more
Being a popular messaging platform, WhatsApp often harbors bad actors which is why it is necessary to equip yourself with the right knowledge about additional security features and tips that can help you keep your WhatsApp account safe from social hacking. Here are some to name a few:
Don’t share your six-digit activation code
Every WhatsApp user has the option to lock their WhatsApp account using a six-digit activation code. This code ensures that whenever the same number is used on another device, the user will have to enter the six-digit code in order to use that specific WhatsApp account.
If a hacker gets hold of that code, he can then hack into your WhatsApp account and have access to your private conversations and maybe even access the backed up WhatsApp photo or videos you might have on the cloud.
So, never share your WhatsApp activation code with anyone.
Secure your account with two-factor authentication
Each of the more than 2.5 billion WhatsApp users can protect their WhatsApp account using two-factor authentication. This security feature makes sure that your WhatsApp number can only be activated on any other device after that code is entered.
To activate two-factor authentication on your WhatsApp number, go to WhatsApp Settings>Account>Two step verification and then tap enable.
WhatsApp will then need you to enter a six-digit activation code. You also get the option to enter an email address to help you recover the code in case you ever forget it. As an added prompt, WhatsApp will intermittently ask you the activation code so that it helps you remember it.
What if you lose your phone?
Phone theft is pervasive in our society and there are also many users who misplace their phone inadvertently. In that case, make sure that you immediately report your phone loss to the authorities and use the WhatsApp Contacts page to report the problem so that WhatsApp they can make sure the hacker doesn’t get to misuse your WhatsApp account.
Despite the above security features, you as a user have to ensure you are vigilant and responsible enough to protect your smartphone data.