WhatsApp is a special messaging App available for all smartphone users and even has a desktop version. The App became even more popular after its acquisition by Facebook CEO and incorporated into the Facebook system. Approximately 90% of Smartphone users in Nigeria have WhatsApp installed on their phone and over 80% have active WhatsApp account on their smartphone while over 70% use the App to message friends on daily bases. With these statistics, you can now see how dangerous it is to lose your WhatsApp account in the hands of fraudsters.
The incident of WhatsApp hacking is not a new thing. Many phone users have got their WhatsApp hacked by some fraudsters. In Nigeria alone, it is can be estimated that one person out of twenty smartphone users have got their WhatsApp account hacked.
WhatsApp hacking can occur either as a result of phone user carelessness or as a result of the special intrusion techniques employed by the hacker. Though any WhatsApp account can be hacked in the two incidents, as a WhatsApp user, you can now use special ways to secure your WhatsApp.
WHY SOMEONE WILL LIKE TO HACK YOUR WHATSAPP ACCOUNT
Though the majority of people hacking victim’s WhatsApp account is doing so to exploit money from the friends and relatives of the WhatsApp owner, others can be for different reasons.
Some hack WhatsApp just to break into the privacy of the account owner and see all the conversational messages with other people, this is very common in a relationship that has lost a high level of trust.
Someone can equally hack your WhatsApp account to punish you by deleting all your messages with others in WhatsApp.
An employer may secretly hack an employee WhatsApp is there is suspicion of anti-company activities by the employee.
As you can see, there are so many reasons why someone may decide to hack your WhatsApp the little mentioned here are the few I can remember now. It is therefore your entire responsibility to keep your WhatsApp secured against such occurrence.
HOW YOUR WHATSAPP ACCOUNT CAN BE HACKED
So many people get confused about how their WhatsApp usually gets hacked. This is a very common question in most people’s mind. Without any known mistakes why is my WhatsApp account being hacked? It is very possible to lose the privacy of your WhatsApp account to a hacker unknowingly even when you are very careful against such possibility. Here are ways such a thing could happen:
ACCESS TO YOUR SMARTPHONE
The easiest way a hacker can hack your WhatsApp is to gain access to your phone. Gaining access to your phone means having the ability to access apps in your phone or removing the memory card in your phone and putting it back.
There are good numbers of special spying software developed for hackers to use in hacking victim’s phones. Most of the software can be installed on a memory card and insert the card in a phone to start monitoring the phone and sending user activities records to the hacker including WhatsApp messages.
Someone that has access to your phone Apps can equally install any of the spying software for the same purpose. This process is shorter, quicker and more reliable because the hacker has to make sure the spying app installed properly before dropping the phone.
You can unknowingly fall into the hands of hackers by downloading apps from unknown sources. This is very common if you usually download software outside Google Play Store or Apple Store. By default, your download settings do not allow download from unknown sources.
If you are about to download anything from the internet in the form of App outside the two mentioned play stores, your phone will prompt you for permission to allow download from unknown sources. Once you click ‘allow’ it will be download and installed on your phone.
The majority of apps downloaded from unknown sources may be hacking app though they may be doing something different on the surface.
Your WhatsApp can be hacked if you are always downloading an attached file from messages sent to you via email, and social media pages.
There is lightweight spying software that can be attached as a file and send to the targeted victim. To secure your WhatsApp you need to secure your smartphone from careless downloading of files sent to you.
Someone that has one-time access to your smartphone can hack your WhatsApp. This can be done by using the WhatsApp web connection to scan the QR code on a computer screen using the phone camera. Once the connection establishes on the computer, the hacker will click on the “Keep Me Login” button.
Afterwards, the hacker can now access further activities on the WhatsApp account through the web version of the WhatsApp account.
Someone can hack your WhatsApp without touching your phone or sending you any spying software. This can happen when the SIM card that bears the number you used in creating the WhatsApp is no longer with you.
The main reason most old people and others with lesser knowledge of how WhatsApp works get their account is because of this mistake.
If you use any number to register WhatsApp make sure that the number is on that phone. This will help to secure your WhatsApp.
Any WhatsApp account operating with a lost SIM card number, or a SIM card you have given out to someone will be prone to hacking. All the hacker needs to do is to insert the SIM Card into any smartphone and use it to register a new WhatsApp account.
Afterwards, the hacker will then use the “recover backup” option of WhatsApp when launching the new account to retrieve all your WhatsApp backed up messages.
Spying software that entered your phone in the form a virus unknowingly or installed as a result of activities carried out on a website despite designed to hack accounts such as phishing website pages. It may not be an application but something lesser and unnoticeable like keyloggers, etc. Even phishing website pages can make you lose some level of security in your smartphone.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR WHATSAPP AGAINST HACKERS
There are ways you can protect your WhatsApp against hackers. Though you cannot provide 100% security against hacker’s access to your phone but this post will definitely help you to improve in the security tips.
Below are few security tips you need to take note of when trying to keep your WhatsApp account safe:
SECURE YOUR PHONE WITH SCREEN LOCK
Always use a screen lock to secure your phone. This is the primary security every phone needs. There are options available for every smartphone for the locking of screen example is the pattern lock, password lock, pin lock, facial lock, and voice lock, etc.
Apply any of the options convenient for you and make sure no one monitors you while trying to use your phone in order to know the lock code you are using.
About 50 per cent of hacking in Nigerian phone users are carried out through access to the phone. This is the reason you should not take the screen lock options for granted.
USE INBUILT PHONE MEMORY CARDS
Models of smartphones are changing, most of the modern smartphones come with inbuilt battery. This is not common in old smartphones. Besides the convenience it offers, an inbuilt memory card offers higher security to your phone that external memory cards. Someone that does not have access to your phone memory card cannot be able to install anything on the phone through a memory card.
Using an inbuilt memory card means only anyone that can unlock your phone screen has the ability to install any software in it. Meanwhile, that will be practically impossible with smartphones with inbuilt memory.
ALWAYS DOWNLOAD FROM OFFICIAL STORES
Assuming you have introduced screen lock, and equally ensured that your phone is an inbuilt memory smartphone. The next security you need to implement is download sources of any software you are downloading into the phone.
iPhones have an official download store known as the Apple store while Android phones have an official download store known as Google Play Store. Applications from these Stores have been scanned against hacking and considered safe.
DO NOT DOWNLOAD ATTACHED FILE FROM UNKNOWN PERSON
The next thing you must consider when securing your smartphone against hackers is to avoid downloading files attached to emails or any platform with the phone when you do not know the sender nor requested any file from them.
Some of the attached files could contain virus aimed at spying on your device to collect vital information.
ACTIVATE WHATSAPP TWO-STEP AUTHENTICATION
This is a security tip that can save your WhatsApp account when every other security fails. WhatsApp management has introduced a new way of securing your account against hackers. It is referred to as a two-step authentication method.
Two-step authentication in WhatsApp is a security approach where you specify six-digit numbers referred to as “Pins” that will be serving as a security code for your WhatsApp account. The pins will be required from you from time to time when trying to do certain things in WhatsApp.
This method will prompt anyone trying to do anything with the WhatsApp account to verify their ownership of the account using the Pin you have provided when activating the two-step authentication.
It is the easiest way to catch an intruder trying to access your account because some of the authentication requirements may not be available for the hacker to access. By that, your WhatsApp will remain secured even when other things fail.
How To Active Two-Step Authentication in WhatsApp
Launch your WhatsApp
On the chats section, click on the menu option on the right side of the WhatsApp
From the list of options in the menu, click “Settings”. This will open the profile section of the WhatsApp account with a list of settings options below it.
Click on the “Account” option which is the first among the options. The options in the account settings will be shown. The list of options is: Privacy, Security, Two-step Verification, Change Number, Request account info, Delete my account.
Click on the “Two-Step verification” option. This will take you to another page that displays the “ENABLE” button at its bottom.
Read some information on the page concerning the two-step authentication and how it works. Then click the “ENABLE” button.
After that, your WhatsApp has been secured with two-step authentication.
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