One of the most popular messaging services out there with over a billion users, WhatsApp has been reigning the monarch since the last few years. With the introduction of end-to-end encryption in 2016, WhatsApp made sure that the message details do not fall into wrong hands. But then, that’s not the end of the bargain. There are many steps that we, as users, should take to make it more secure.
Here, in this post today, we have compiled a list of 7 cool tips to secure your WhatsApp account like a fort (so that not as much as a letter leaks out of it).
The web version of WhatsApp has not only made reading and replying to messages easier, but it also lets you access your messages even if your android isn’t in near sight. All you have to do is log in once using the QR code. Simple.
The above scenario is all rosy if and only if, you are using your own laptop or desktop to access WhatsApp.
In a not-so-rosy scenario, if you forget to log out from a public computer, all your messages and pictures can be read by a stranger. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
That’s when the Log out from all computers option comes in handy. Tap on it and all your existing WhatsApp web sessions will be terminated immediately.
Moreover, do keep an eye out for the persistent notification that pops up each time the web version is activated.
2. Use Two-Factor Verification
The security aspect of WhatsApp can be described as adequate. However, it tends to fall below adequate, if users don’t go for the two-factor authentication. When SIM cloning is all so easy these days, this method ensures that nobody else can set up your WhatsApp on their phone without knowing the secret 6-digit code.
The settings can be accessed through Account > Two-step verification. Once this is enabled, any re-verification must be accompanied with this number. Plus, as an additional measure, you can set up an alternate email address which will send a link to your email once this two-factor authentication is disabled.
Given the state of privacy these days, I say this is a must-have security measure.
3. Restrict Access to Your Profile Pic
The main contributor to WhatApp’s meteoritic rise was the fact that anybody can be texted if you just have the contact number. The downside of this feature is that your wonderful profile picture can also land in the wrong hands. All they need is your contact number.
Good news is, this can be easily averted if the access to the profile picture is restricted. Head over to Privacy and switch from the default Everybody option to the more friendly My contacts. From now on, only the contacts which you have saved will be able to see your profile picture.
And if you want to go a step ahead, ban everyone from seeing your picture by opting Nobody. But then, what’s the point of keeping a picture, I wonder?
4. Hide Photos from Gallery
One of the most prized features of WhatsApp is that all the media items that are sent get automatically saved to the phone gallery. (It’s also an annoying to the T if you ask me.) Thankfully, the WhatsApp media can be easily hidden from the gallery thus letting you keep your buddy’s secret, well, a secret.
All you have to do is head over to the WhatsApp images folder using the File Explorer and create a file called .nomedia. After a reboot, all the WhatsApp media items will be hidden.
The fifth tip of the day is to lock the WhatsApp app from prying eyes using a third party app. If you have highly sensitive information on your WhatsApp messages, you can choose to have a lock on with a PIN or pattern.
The top choice in this matter would be the AppLock app. Downloaded over a million times, this one lets you lock individual apps and various system switches like the ones for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.
Along with the WhatsApp app, do lock the Settings as well, so that uninstalling of apps without your knowledge can be avoided.
6. Deactivate Account on Lost/Stolen Phone
In an unfortunate incident of a lost or stolen phone, make sure that the WhatsApp account is also deactivated along with the SIM deactivation. Unfortunately remote WhatsApp deactivation is yet not supported. So the deactivation process is a tad long.
One would be required to shoot off a mail to the WhatsApp support with the phrase Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account (along with the phone number)as the subject line. The phone number must be in the correct international format.
7. Watch Out for Scams
While the above were settings which you can enable on your phone to secure your apps. However, care must be taken not to tap on any suspicious links. With the contents not being actively monitored, WhatsApp is fast turning into a den of suspicious links, misleading contents and a magnet for phishing scandals.
Just the other day I received a forward asking me to fill out a form so that I can get the Redmi Note 4 for just 499 bucks. So just in case, you receive strange messages for filling out surveys or downloading contents, be sure to report it right away and block the number.
With the current state of the privacy and security in the world, it’s imperative that all our data stays safe. And along with it, it’s equally important that we keep an eye out for any wrong doings. So, these were some tips on how you can make WhatsApp more secure. So which security settings do you keep on your device? Would love to know through the comments section.