WhatsApp is a highly-popular messaging app and now scammers are using it to scam innocent users. WhatsApp is most often used for private messaging and therefore, ensuring the privacy and security of your WhatsApp account is vital.
WhatsApp has ensured the security of your account through end-to-end encryption. However, we have seen many circumstances where messages from WhatsApp accounts are leaked. Therefore, you need to proactively take a few steps to keep your WhatsApp account safe.
Here are a few tips for your WhatsApp account.
Take full privilege of your privacy settings
WhatsApp gives full power to the users to control their privacy settings. You can manage the privacy of your last seen, profile phone and about. The three primary privacy options which are available are no one, contacts only and everyone. It is advisable that you choose the contacts only option because then, you would be sharing information of your WhatsApp profile only with the people that you personally know.
Block annoying people
Ever received a message from any random person? Do you find that person dangerous? The simple solution of getting rid of such annoying people is by simply blocking. In case, if they have said or sent anything obscene, don’t forget to report them.
Clear messages every once in a while
It is advisable that to ensure no messages are leaked, you keep deleting all the messages with an individual or in a group for once and all. If you are discussing something sensitive with anyone which if leaked might cause trouble, delete those messages.
Set up two-step verification
The best way of protecting your WhatsApp account from hackers is to set the two-step verification which is also known as 2FA. Enable 2FA will give an added layer of security to your WhatsApp account. When you enable two-step verification, you will have to enter a six-digit PIN to log in to your WhatsApp account.
For enabling 2FA, follow these steps:
- Go to “Settings” and tap on “Account” and go to “Two-Step Verification”
- Tap on “Enable”
- Enter a six-digit PIN which you’ll be asked for when you register your phone number with WhatsApp
- Now add an email address to your account which will be used to reset your PIN if you forget it and safeguard your account
- Tap on “Next”
You have now successfully enabled two-step verifications on your WhatsApp account.
Enable Face ID lock
When you enable a Face ID lock for your WhatsApp, you will need the facial ID to unlock your WhatsApp account to access it. For enabling Face ID lock, follow these steps:
- Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock
- Now toggle on “Require Face ID”
You can further choose whether you want to turn on the Face ID immediately or after one minute.
Do not open any forwarded link
Never ever open any link which has been forwarded or even sent to you by an unknown contact. WhatsApp now comes with a forwarded tag which helps you to identify fake and phishing messages.
Disable auto group addition
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have magically become a part of a random group? If the privacy settings are not set right, anyone can add you in a group, provided they have your phone number.
Thankfully, WhatsApp has now added an option that allows the users to disable auto group addition. For activating this option, go to Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups and then tap on “Nobody”. You also have the options to choose “My Contacts” if you want your friends to add you in a group without your confirmation. If you are already a member of any group, simply exit it.
Turn off read receipts
If you do not want anyone to know whether you have read their message or not, you can turn off the read receipts. This might be more of a privacy option for you than a security concern.
Disable cloud backups
Do you know what is the loophole of the end-to-end encryption supported by WhatsApp? Well, it is the fact that it allows the users to back up their conversation in Google Drive and iCloud. Many users use this option so that they can easily retrieve the old messages when they use a new smartphone. Is the backup safe?
No, these backups are not encrypted. Anyone can read these messages from your cloud service if you don’t keep it protected. If you really care about your privacy, turn it off.
- If you are an iPhone user, to disable backup go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Auto Backup > Off
- If you using WhatsApp on your Android device, go to Menu > Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > Backup to Google Drive > Never.
If you are using an emulator software to run WhatsApp on your PC such as BlueStacks, make sure you are downloading the software from a trusted source.
Log out from WhatsApp Web/Desktop
Many users now use WhatsApp on their desktop/laptop for easily replying to the messages without picking up the phone. When you are done with your work and no longer have to use WhatsApp Web/Desktop, make sure you log out of your account, especially if you are using a public desktop.