Facebook’s WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app on earth today. The simple service has gathered a user base of a billion+ monthly active users as at February this year.
The app’s developers are still continuing to make it even better for us. Today we look at some useful security tips and tricks which will enable you to protect your account from ill-minded people.
Privacy is a major concern for any human being as s/he chats. Some friends and family members like meddling in other people’s lives, they always like to spy on you. There are also malicious hackers out there who can hijack your account for evil purposes. Here are some helpful WhatsApp tips to help you to stay safe from these two group of people;
How to use Privacy and Security settings
WhatsApp provides users with privacy options. To see these options, go to WhatsApp->Settings->Account->Privacy->Last Seen/Profile photo/Status. Here you can choose the person eligible to see your Last Seen, Profile photo or Status. The audience can either be Everyone, My Contacts or you can decide to keep them to yourself by selecting Nobody option. You can also check or uncheck Read receipt check box to determine whether people will see the small blue tick check marks that pop when the recipient has read your message. Remember that by not sharing your ‘Last Seen’ or Read receipts you will not be able to see other people’s as well.
The messenger also provides users with security options. To see this, go to WhatsApp->Settings->Account->Security. You can toggle the button in this section to show security notifications, that is when a contact’s security code has changed. However, messages and calls across are protected by default end-to-end data encryption policy whether you activate this feature or not. The encryption policy means WhatsApp and third parties cannot listen to your private calls and neither can they read your messages.
This a new security feature introduced to patch a loophole in the app that could see hackers hijack users’ accounts by simply using their phone numbers. Though the app will require a one-time password (OTP) sent to your number, cyber criminals can still use their skills to divert this OTP to their devices. The loophole was used in August by Iranian state hackers to get access to some journalists and activists Telegram accounts.
It was reported that the same trick can be used on other messaging services like WhatsApp. That’s why the company has come up with a Two-step verification function for the Android version. From now, as you sign up with your number will require both the OTP and a six-digit passcode for verification.
How to activate
The Two-step verification option is now appearing in Settings but users are required to enable it. You can do that using the following steps;
- WhatsApp->Settings->Account->Two-step verification
- Hit ENABLE button
- You will be asked to enter 6-digit passcode, remember to put a code you can easily remember
- Confirm your passcode
- Enter email address, this for the purposes of resetting the passcode but it’s optional
- Confirm email address
- Hit SAVE
- Press DONE
You will be required to enter the secret code whenever you are reconfiguring your account or adding a new phone number. The email is not a must but it’s very critical when you forget your passcode.
Protecting WhatsApp with a password
WhatsApp does not require you to log in using a password to start using the application. Anybody who gets access to your phone can, therefore, see your chats effortlessly. However, there is a tweak to enable you to deny access to those who may want to see your private conversations behind your back. You will need third-party apps that allow you lock your applications using passwords or patterns. The applications include App Locker or AppLock downloadable from the Google Play Store. After downloading the application and installing it follow the prompts for locking an app and lock your WhatsApp account.
Hopefully, these tricks will help you enjoy your chatting experience on the platform with the highest number of subscribers. If still not aware WhatsApp just launch video calling adding to the voice calling, update your app to enjoy this feature.