Spying on WhatsApp, how to defend yourself

You think someone can monitor WhatsApp and read your chats and the messages you exchange with your friends. Here's how to defend yourself

The native addition of end-to-end encryption has meant that WhatsApp conversations are protected from potential digital snoopers who, with a man-in-the-middle attack, can intercept the messages we exchange with our friends and contacts. This does not mean, however, that it is impossible to spy on WhatsApp. On the contrary, the exact opposite is true: knowing some tricks, in fact, strangers can read the messages we send and receive without having the phone in their hands.

For this reason it is always useful to know all the methods to defend yourself from those who spy on you on WhatsApp, so as to neutralize attempts to spy that friends or family can put in place. Spying on WhatsApp, in fact, is much easier than you might think and does not require who knows what computer knowledge. As we'll see in detail in a moment, you just need to have in your hands the smartphone to spy for less than a minute and that's it. In the same way, however, taking appropriate countermeasures is not complicated at all: here's how not to be spied on WhatsApp and protect your privacy.

Check accesses on WhatsApp Web

Usually, if someone you know wants to spy on you on WhatsApp all they have to do is activate WhatsApp Web on their PC. This way they can read your chats from a distance and without having the phone in their hands: just launch WhatsApp on the PC and you're done. To check if someone is spying on you with WhatsApp Web, all you have to do is launch the app on your smartphone, go to the WhatsApp Web management page (on iPhone, click on the Settings icon and choose WhatsApp Web; on Android, click on the three dots icon in the upper right corner and then WhatsApp Web) and check the list of devices connected to your profile. If you notice anything abnormal, disconnect all devices and you'll be safe.

Check your installed apps

Another way to spy on WhatsApp is to install specific apps - sometimes also called spy apps - that allow you to remotely control your phone or check your smartphone usage (for example, the time you spend on one app rather than another or the list of calls made). If you want to make sure that no one is spying on you on WhatsApp, therefore, you'll have to check that there are no such apps on your device. Fortunatamente, individuarle è piuttosto semplice: per effettuare il monitoraggio completo del dispositivo, queste app devono godere di privilegi particolari. Ti basterà verificare che non ci siano app con privilegi elevati (su Android) o profili di configurazione personalizzati (su iOS) e sarai al sicuro.

  • Come trovare app con privilegi elevati su Android. Apri le Impostazioni del telefono, poi su Sicurezza e infine su App di amministrazione dispositivo (o, in alternativa, Altre impostazioni > Privacy > App di amministrazione dispositivo; o, se disponibile, utilizza il campo ricerca e inserisci App amministrazione dispositivo). Una volta all’interno verifica che nell’elenco non ci siano app con nomi strani o che sei certo di non aver installato; se così fosse disattiva i privilegi e cancellale dalla memoria del dispositivo
  • Come trovare app con profili di configurazione personalizzati su iOS. Apri le Impostazioni dell’iPhone, poi pigia su Generali e infine su Gestione dispositivo. Again, check for abnormal profiles or apps and, if so, delete them from the iPhone

Lock apps with password

When you have to think about the methods used to spy on you on WhatsApp, don't think too hard: it probably knows your phone's unlock code and can see everything you do. If you want to add an extra layer of security to your device, use an app that allows you to lock WhatsApp with a password. This way, in addition to the "general" unlock code, digital snoopers will need a second unlock code (or sequence) to read your conversations.