7 Ways to keep your WhatsApp secure
Online security and privacy have become an area of concern today.
Safety is needed against hackers, data brokers, scammers, etc.
WhatsApp users grow each day and these users use the app to share anything and everything, including personal videos and photos.
From the series of articles we’ve previously written about WhatsApp, you should have already known that WhatsApp can be hacked and your information could get into the hands of wrong elements.
To keep your WhatsApp secure, below are some tips you might need to consider to ensure safety on the app.
1. Activate two-step verification
WhatsApp offers a “two-step verification” feature that adds extra protection to a user’s account.
This can be activated under Settings > Account > Two step verification > Enable.
Users are required to set up a 6-digit PIN and an email address for communication once they forget their PINs
2. Disable online backups
The second way you can keep your WhatsApp secure is by disabling online backups.
WhatsApp uses end to end encryption with its messages within the app but the backup isn’t encrypted.
This means your messages are secure on the app but the same can’t be said for online backups like Google Drive and iCloud.
WhatsApp’s backdoor allows hackers to intercept and read your encrypted messages.
To be more secure, visit Settings > Chats > chat backup and choose “Never” to deactivate the backup feature.
While this means your chats will be safe from hackers, you won’t be able to recover old chats.
3. Avoid unofficial WhatsApp platforms
Each time WhatsApp is used, always endeavor to confirm that an official platform is used. Avoid using unofficial platforms both on desktop apps and mobile platforms.
Such platforms might offer additional features compared to the official ones but never offer the same protection and user security.
WhatsApp uses part of a security protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems, a company that has its own fully secure messaging app signal.
There’s a WhatsApp update every now and then so users should always wait for features to be added to official platforms.
While using WhatsApp Web, always endeavor to log out each time you are done using a device.
4. Hide your WhatsApp profile picture
The other way you can keep your WhatsApp secure is by limiting who sees your display photo.
If your WhatsApp display picture is your actual picture, you should consider hiding it from non-contacts.
Visit Settings > Account > Privacy > Profile photo and choose “My contacts” to only allow contacts access to your picture.
If unhidden, anyone can easily access it and save it on their devices.
With just one simple picture of yours, someone can use image search to find other pictures of yours and possibly access other online accounts you have ever created.
5. Avoid scams
Online scams are quite common these and are quite captivating, to say the least.
Hackers often send messages that lure people into sharing their personal information which they then sell to third parties.
A scam can be difficult to identify even by the sharpest minds. But it’s always that message or link that seems to be too good to be true.
Things like “free unlimited internet”, “access to new features on the app”, etc. Users should always be on the lookout for things like this.
A more detailed post on identifying scams is available here.
6. Update your WhatsApp regularly
Like every other app, WhatsApp has its own flaws.
Researchers have discovered numerous flaws with the app including the ability for hackers to intercept and read the encrypted messages.
Whenever such security issues are discovered, they are handled and new versions are sent to users. Users should always update their apps to access such modifications and keep your WhatsApp secure.
7. Turn on security notifications
Each time a new device is used, a security code is generated. Turning on your security notifications will ensure a notification is sent to you whenever this code changes.
To turn on this setting, visit Settings > Account > Security > Show security notification and click to turn on.