Cybersecurity attacks have surged in number amid the times of coronavirus pandemic. Hackers have become more creative than ever and are trying to exploit people’s data through apps and devices. WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps out there and if you want to ensure that your chats and account stay safe, follow these tips.
Delete And Report Spam
Spammers often try to reach you through WhatsApp to lure you into clicking on malicious links or download malware-infected files. If you ever come across these spammy messages from an unknown number, you should simply ignore them and use the ‘Report Spam’ option that’s available on WhatsApp.
When you receive a message from an unknown number for the first time, you’ll have the option to report the number directly inside the chat. You can also report a contact or a group from their profile information. First, open the chat, then tap on the contact or group name to open their profile information, and then scroll to the bottom and tap ‘Report contact’ or ‘Report group’.
For extra security, you can enable two-step verification that requires a PIN when registering your phone number with WhatsApp again. This is great to prevent unknown people from accessing your chats.
This option is available on Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. You’ll be asked to create a 6-digit PIN code that will be asked to you when you register your number with WhatsApp again. Make sure you also add your email address to access the PIN again in case you forget it!
Set Your Privacy Settings
This is a no-brainer but if you don’t want strangers accessing your profile photo, see your stories, or view your other personal info, tweak the privacy settings. All that you need to do is set last seen, profile photo, about, and status to either my contacts or only me.
You can also choose to share these with only a few people depending on your privacy preferences. Privacy settings are available on WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy.
Control Who You Interact With
WhatsApp gives you an option to block specific contacts from trying to talk to you again. If you find that the person is bothering or bullying you, you can simply block him/her out. This can be done through chats. You can also decide what to share with your contacts on WhatsApp. Don’t send sensitive pictures or messages that you wouldn’t want others to view.
Lock your WhatsApp
Even though this option isn’t directly available on WhatsApp, you can use third-party apps or even the security settings on your mobile phone to enable this security feature on WhatsApp. This will prevent others from accessing your WhatsApp chats even if they get access to your phone.
It will require you to enter a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint and will only let you enter the app once you know these credentials. But, make sure that you are using a credible and reliable third-party security app otherwise you can put your data to further risk.