Whatsapp is a popular social media communication platform, which is easy to set up and also easy to hack if measures are not taken to protect WhatsApp from being hacked.
In this article, I will share with you steps that will protect your WhatsApp from being hacked and what to do if your WhatsApp account is hacked.
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How to Protect Whatsapp From Being Hacked
The following are measures that will protect WhatsApp from being hacked.
- Secure your WhatsApp account
Whatsapp had some hidden features that can help you add a second layer of security to your WhatsApp account.
Two-step verification(two-factor verification) is a security feature on WhatsApp and other social media platforms that can add additional security to social media handles.
How to secure your Whatsapp account
To protect WhatsApp from being hacked via two-step verification follow the steps below:
- Open WhatsApp on your device and tap the three dots menu on the top right of your screen.
- Click on Settings, then on Account and select Two-step verification.
- Click Enable and then choose your preferred Six digit PIN. You will be required to enter the PIN twice to confirm.
Note: The PIN should not be easy to guess and should not include your name, birthday, birth year or repeating sequence such as 123456, 111111 and so on.
The six-digit PIN should contain special characters, numbers and upper and lower case characters.
- Add a recovery Email address that can be used to reset your WhatsApp PIN in case you forgot your pin. However, this feature though recommended is optional.
- Click Done and you have successfully secured your account by activating two-step verification.
- Never share WhatsApp code with anyone
Whenever you register your phone number with WhatsApp, WhatsApp will send a six-digit number (OTP) to your Whatsapp number via sms to authenticate the person making the request.
This six-digit number (OTP) will also be generated and sent to you whenever a hacker tries to register your Whatsapp number on another device. The hacker will try to trick you into sending the six-digit number (OTP) to him or her.
Once you send the number (OTP) to the hacker, the hacker will immediately take over your WhatsApp account and will try to defraud your contacts. To protect Whatsapp from being hacked you should never disclose your Whatsapp OTP to anyone.
Whatsapp will never ask you for your PIN, OTP or other details via email, sms, phone call, chat or any other communication channel.
As a rule, don’t ever share any OTP (one-time password) with anyone especially if you did not initiate the request for the OTP. Whenever you share your OTP you risk being hacked with unpleasant consequences.
- Log out of Whatsapp Web
WhatsApp can be used on PC, laptops, tablets and other devices by scanning a QR code from your phone.
If your PC, laptop and other devices are shared, then it is pertinent you log out Whatsapp from these devices after using them, to avoid unauthorised access to your WhatsApp account.
To prevent your WhatsApp from being hacked it is best to avoid login in from shared devices.
- Dont click on any suspicious link
Your WhatsApp can be hacked by clicking on suspicious links, sent by random WhatsApp users or you may be defrauded by releasing sensitive information or funds inadvertently to your Whatsapp contacts which have been hacked.
It is a common occurrence these days for hackers to take over your friends or family members’ WhatsApp accounts and then send messages to you or other WhatsApp contacts requesting sensitive information or financial assistance usually with a promise to pay back soon.
Sometimes they may even call you with random numbers, having gotten your contact details and other data from the hacked WhatsApp number requesting the six-digit number(OTP) WhatsApp sent to you via sms to hack your WhatsApp line also.
To protect Whatsapp from being hacked you should avoid clicking on suspicious links. Sending sensitive information or responding to requests for financial assistance on WhatsApp especially making payments to unknown bank account details without calling to confirm may lead to loss of funds, property and sensitive information.
If a random WhatsApp user or hacked Whatsapp line keeps sending suspicious or deceptive Whatsapp messages to you, you can report the Whatsapp line and or block the WhatsApp line.
To report/block a Whatsapp user follow the steps below:
- Open WhatsApp on your device
- Identify and click on the Whatsapp contact you want to report/block
- Click on the three menu button on the top right corner of your screen
- Click on More
- Then click on Report and or Block.
- Review your Whatsapp privacy setting
Whatsapp supports various privacy options/ settings. To prevent your Whatsapp from being hacked you can choose the people that can visualise your WhatsApp profile picture, status and other details.
It is recommended to change your WhatsApp privacy setting to contact only, meaning that only the contacts(phone numbers) saved on your device will be able to see your Whatsapp account details.
How to secure your WhatsApp account via privacy setting
To prevent your Whatsapp from being hacked by changing your privacy setting follow the steps below:
- Open Whatsapp on your device
- Click on the three menu button
- Click on Settings
- Click on Privacy, then you can decide who sees the following WhatsApp information last seen online, profile photo, about, and status.
- Deactivate your Whatsapp account whenever your device is stolen or misplaced
Losing phones or devices is not uncommon nowadays, however, whenever you lose your device to protect your Whatsapp from being hacked, you need to deactivate your Whatsapp account before someone accesses it and all the data therein.
To deactivate your Whatsapp account follow the steps below:
- Open Whatsapp on another device
- Click on the three menu button
- Click on setting
- Click on Account
- Click on Delete my account
- Enter the phone number and click Delete my account
- Lock WhatsApp screen
You can enable WhatsApp screen lock to prevent unauthorised access to your WhatsApp when you give your device to other people to use.
To lock the WhatsApp screen follow the steps below:
- Open WhatsAppClick on the three-menu button
- Click on setting
- Click on Privacy
- Scroll down to Fingerprint lock, enable it and choose the preferred time from the options provided
What to do if your WhatsApp gets Hacked
Inform all your Whatsapp contacts, especially your family members and friends that your line has been hacked.
Inform admin groups of all WhatsApp groups you belong to increase awareness and also exit you from the Whatsapp groups.
Try to re-register your phone number on Whatsapp to generate a six-digit number (OTP)that will help you recover your WhatsApp account.
How to remove a hacker from a Whatsapp group
Once you confirm that a WhatsApp number in your Whatsapp group has been hacked, identify the WhatsApp number click on the Whatsapp number and then click on remove.
How to know if my WhatsApp is Hacked
How will you know if your WhatsApp has been hacked? If your WhatsApp is hacked you will lose access to the WhatsApp account and will not be able to chat or post anything via the hacked WhatsApp account.
Also, your contacts on Whatsapp or the Whatsapp groups you belong to may call to complain about unusual posts or requests from your WhatsApp.
If your experience the above or other unusual behaviour on your Whatsapp account then the chance that your Whatsapp have been hacked is high.
Any device, social media handle or account can be hacked, however, the measures stated above will protect your Whatsapp from being hacked. Explore how to prevent being hacked.