How to protect WhatsApp from spies

Hackers have developed techniques to steal your WhatsApp account: here's how to defend yourself and what to do

Tons of personal information are sent on WhatsApp every day: from your credit card number to your PIN to access your bank account. But that's not all. Pictures of your kids, work documents and voice messages with your most intimate secrets. Personal data that would be tempting for many people, especially hackers and spies who would do anything to get hold of it. Fortunately, WhatsApp over time has developed features for user security that make access to your personal account almost impenetrable.

Unfortunately, these tools are not infallible. Especially when they are used by people who are not very familiar with the world of information technology and who are not able to recognize the dangers of the Net. As reported by the State Police on Facebook, a simple message is enough to lose ownership of your WhatsApp account. What to do to increase the security of personal data in the application? Very simple: you need to learn the tricks of hackers and activate on your WhatsApp account all the security features that we have available.

How spies steal WhatsApp account

Are hackers able to steal WhatsApp account? Unfortunately, yes, and the tactics they can deploy are more than one. One example is the hacking suffered by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, who had all the data on his profile stolen after opening a video he received. Video that actually hid a malware. This, however, is a solution of high computer engineering and designed specifically to hit the individual.

There are alternative tools much simpler and able, in theory, to hit any user. To launch the alarm is the Postal Police through its Facebook account. In recent weeks, more and more people are reporting that their WhatsApp account has been stolen using a very simple tactic.

In order to activate WhatsApp, it is necessary to enter a verification code that arrives via SMS. The hackers pretend to be a friend of the chosen victim and convince him to send him this code via message. Once they get the PIN, they take possession of the account throwing out the legitimate owner. It may sound absurd, but unfortunately it is a technique that reaps many victims. How to defend yourself from these traps? Activate two-factor authentication, a tool that strengthens the security of any online account.

How to activate two-step verification on WhatsApp

Before explaining how to activate two-factor authentication, we need to explain what we're talking about. It is a tool that allows you to protect your online accounts. When you log in to an online service from a new computer, a verification code arrives on your email account or phone number. This way even if the hacker has managed to get the password to your bank account or email address, they won't be able to get in without also having the verification code.

Two-step verification works the same way for WhatsApp. If the feature is enabled, when you activate your WhatsApp account on a new smartphone, in addition to the verification code that arrives via SMS, you will also need to know the PIN of the two-step verification.

To enable two-factor authentication on WhatsApp you need to open the application, press on Settings, then on Account, Two-step Verification and finally on Activate. At this point, a page will open in which to enter the six-digit PIN that you will have to remember every time you make a change of smartphone. WhatsApp will also ask us to enter an email address in case we forget the two-step verification PIN. At any time you can change the code or disable the function (which we strongly advise against).

How to defend WhatsApp from spies

In addition to hackers, the danger also comes from spying friends. It happens every now and then to leave the smartphone unattended and some spy friend takes advantage of it to take possession of our WhatsApp and send messages in bad taste or spy on our conversations. How can we stop this unpleasant situation? Very simple: activate Screen Lock, a feature that allows you to use your fingerprint or facial recognition (iPhone only) to access WhatsApp.

To activate Screen Lock you need to access WhatsApp, go to Settings, click on Account, then on Privacy and finally on Screen Lock or Lock with fingerprint (it changes depending on the version). On the iPhone you can choose between TouchID and FaceID.