WhatsApp, what to do when your smartphone is stolen

If you have lost your smartphone you can block WhatsApp account so that no one reads your messages: here's how to do

Losing or being robbed of your smartphone is one of the worst nightmares for users: the economic damage is added the possibility that some malicious person can read private conversations and get sensitive data such as credit card number or credentials to access online services.

The biggest fear, however, is that the thief will be able to read our WhatsApp messages. The application is no longer simply a messaging service, but is used to exchange private information, images, videos and work documents. If any of these files ended up in the wrong hands, it could put our work and friendships in danger. What to do then? Is it possible to block WhatsApp in case our smartphone is stolen? Of course it is, and the procedure to follow is also quite simple: it only takes a few steps to deactivate WhatsApp and secure our personal data.

How to deactivate WhatsApp account

If we lose our smartphone and want to lock our WhatsApp account, we have two ways to go: use a new SIM card with the same number or send an email to the application's support and deactivate the WhatsApp profile.

Both procedures have one preliminary action in common: lock your SIM card, so that the thief cannot use your smartphone. To carry out this operation, you need to call your phone provider or proceed to IMEI lock. Once the SIM is locked, you will no longer be able to reverify your WhatsApp account on that smartphone, because you will be unable to receive SIM and phone calls (for a short period of time, the thief will still be able to read your WhatsApp messages if he connects the smartphone to a Wi-Fi network). At this point we have two paths to follow. In the first case, all we have to do is buy a new SIM card with the same phone number, insert it into the new smartphone and perform the entire procedure to verify your WhatsApp account. Within a few minutes we will get back our WhatsApp profile with all the chat history.

The alternative to follow leads to the deactivation of the WhatsApp account. If we are undecided whether to buy a new smartphone, blocking WhatsApp account is the best choice. How to do it? Just send an email to WhatsApp support (in Italian), with the subject "Lost phone: deactivation of WhatsApp account". In the text of the email, you will need to specify your phone number in international format. Once the WhatsApp account is deactivated, we will have thirty days to decide to reactivate it: otherwise it will be deleted.

Block WhatsApp account, things to know

When we block a SIM card, the thief still has the possibility to read our WhatsApp messages: just connect the smartphone to a Wi-Fi network. That's why it's important to quickly buy a new SIM card with the same phone number.

Once you've reactivated your WhatsApp account, you'll be able to restore your chat history using the backup saved on Google Drive, iCloud or OneDrive.