With every advancement in technology comes an even greater adversary in the form of cybersecurity. Even though Facebook continuously implements an extra layer of encryption with each new update of its instant messaging arm – WhatsApp, hackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to subvert these encryption protocols and break into your privacy.
Notably, with the ease of setting up a WhatsApp account on your mobile, one would assume that all of the necessary security check needed to secure your data and privacy has been met. However, that is not mostly the case, as these pre-set security protocols are never enough. Luckily for us, there are many ways to add an extra layer of security to our account.
Regardless, if one of the most powerful men on the planet could be hacked on the said social platform, and given that the platform houses traffic from over 2 billion users worldwide is enough to raise concerns. Needless to say, if you are a business that is chat-based and thrives mainly on the instant messaging app or an individual who just loves to keep their privacy in check, then this article is specifically for you. Here are five tips that are imperative practice for every WhatsApp user.
- End-To-End Encryption:
The first step would be to ensure that all your chats are end-to-end encrypted – this is most visible upon chatting a new contact. This feature encrypts your chat and guarantees that you alone and your contact can read the contents of the chat. Hence, eliminating the chances of a third-party to be able to read them even if intercepted. To do this for already existing contacts, you would need to;
- Navigate to the chat.
- Click on the contact’s name to view the contact info, thereof hit Encryption to view the QR code along with a 60-digit number.
Also, you would want to enable such privacy options that allow users to choose whether or not they want their information – status, profile picture, and other details, to be shared publicly. It is best to have this option set to “Contacts Only”.
- Deactivate WhatsApp On Lost or Stole Phones:
While most people are might be concerned about their contents and other media files in the occurrence of a lost or stolen phone, and pay less attention to the sensitivity of the world’s most distributed instant messaging app. Since WhatsApp has become a part of our daily lives and because the content, we share incorporates all and every information on our devices. During the event of losing a phone, the first thing to do would be to deactivate this all-encompassing hub of our information – WhatsApp. To deactivate your WhatsApp;
- Go to Settings.
- Delete my account.
- Enter your phone number.
- Click on Delete my account.
Note that this step should always be reverted by login into your account on another device – as usual, and download your data from the backup. So be sure to activate a cloud backup for your WhatsApp data.
- Always Logout of WhatsApp Web:
WhatsApp web is a convenient way for users to gain access to their WhatsApp chatting interface employing a web browser on PC. Even though this is a handy tool for your work environment, it also leaves room for hackers to gain access to your sensitive information if not duly logged out. So, if you are to make use on the WhatsApp web on a publicly accessible PC such as one at the office, then endeavor to log out after every session.
- Enable Lock screen
The WhatsApp lock screen option on Android and iOS, allows users to protect their account from strangers. For this step you would need to register your fingerprint – for devices with such feature, or a password for devices without fingerprint access. You can activate this by going to your Settings menu > Privacy > Screen Lock. Once done, you would need to scan your fingerprint each time to gain access to your account or manually input your password as the case may be.
- Two-Factor Authentication:
Lastly and probably the most important step would be to set up two-factor authentication for your account. This step serves as an extra layer of protection in situations where a third-party gets a hold of your six digits verification code. Setting up a PIN on your WhatsApp account adds an extra layer of security to your account. By this, WhatsApp would require a PIN each time you want to register your Phone number afresh. Although, a six digits number, nonetheless this PIN differs entirely from the usual six digits verification code sent via SMS from WhatsApp. Luckily for us, this step is fairly easy to enable.
- Click on the three dots at the top right of your screen.
- Tap Settings > Account > Two-step verification.
- Select “Enable” and then provide a six-digit PIN on the resulting window.