7 WhatsApp security tips that you must know to stay safe | #itsecurity | #infosec


WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular instant communication tools, and also happens to be one of the safest ways to communicate to others. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot  take some more steps to make sure your WhatsApp experience is a little more oriented towards privacy and online safety. Here are seven WhatsApp tips that can help you secure you personal messages and files even more.

Enable two step verification

Enabling two step verification for your WhatsApp account is one of the best things you can do to enhance your privacy. It is also one of the easiest steps to take, as all you need to do is turn on this built-in feature and you get an added layer of security to prevent unauthorised logins.

Here’s where you can enable Two step verification in WhatsApp settings. (Express Photo)

To do so, navigate to WhatsApp Settings/ Account/ Two Step Verification and click the ‘Enable’ button. You will be asked to enter a six-digit unique PIN that will be handy when you want to switch to a new device. Without this six digit pin, your account cannot be accessed by anyone else.

Check unknown links

Getting malicious links is a big problem not just on WhatsApp, but all communication platforms from emails to Instagram DMs. What makes matters worse is you may sometimes receive malicious links from people you know who may have been tricked into clicking a malicious link themselves. Some links and scam messages that are circulated these days may be very difficult to tell apart from regular texts that someone like a family member may send you.

However, you can avoid going to these potentially harmful web pages by verifying the link you just received.  You can do this by long pressing on it to copy it (be careful, if you don’t press long enough, you will just end up opening the link in a browser window). Once copied, you can paste it on any link-checking site like ScanURL, PhishTank, Norton Safe Web and others.

Enable Security Notifications

WhatsApp’s security notifications let users know when their chats may be at risk of being compromised. WhatsApp implements end-to-end encryption between two devices that are communicating. Should one of those two accounts be moved to a new device, a quick alert is sent to all chats making the change known. So, if your WhatsApp account is hacked and logged into from somewhere else, your contacts will know if they have the feature turned on.

WhatsApp, WhatsApp safety, WhatsApp security, WhatsApp tips and tricks, Here’s where you can enable security notifications in WhatsApp settings. (Express Photo)

To turn on Security notifications, navigate to WhatsApp Settings/ Account/ Security and turn on the Security Notifications toggle.

Log out an old phone ASAP if you lose it

If you lose your smartphone with your SIM inside it, recovering your phone itself could be very difficult. Thankfully, platforms like Android and iOS allow you to remotely wipe your phone.

However, if you want to just prevent access to WhatsApp via the old phone, you can quickly get a duplicate SIM card and insert it in a new/spare phone. Download WhatsApp on this new phone and log into it, using your new SIM for the OTP. Logging into your account from this new device will also instantly log you out from your older phone.

Use a different profile picture

Did you know people can find out a lot of details about you by simply getting a hold of your profile picture? If your WhatsApp Profile Picture is the same as other platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, all someone needs to do is download or screenshot your WhatsApp profile picture and reverse search it via Google Images. This will lead them to your Facebook page or any other social media handle and reveal information like your name and where you work.

However, preventing this is easier than you think. All you need to do is hide your profile picture from unsaved numbers, which you can do by navigating to WhatsApp Settings/ Account/ Privacy/ Profile photo and switching the option to ‘My contacts’. Alternatively, you can also simply use a unique profile picture on WhatsApp that you haven’t used on any other platform.

Hide WhatsApp media from gallery

You can prevent WhatsApp images, GIFs and videos from showing up in your phone’s gallery by hiding them. To do this, simply go to WhatsApp Settings/ Chats/ Media Visibility and turn off the toggle.

WhatsApp, WhatsApp safety, WhatsApp security, WhatsApp tips and tricks, Here’s where you can toggle Media Visibility on or off in WhatsApp settings. (Express Photo)

After this, WhatsApp media files will only be visible via the app, and other gallery apps will not  be able to see the same.

Log out of WhatsApp Web when not in use

WhatsApp Web is super handy, especially if you need WhatsApp to coordinate with colleagues and associates in your office desktop or laptop. However, you also risk leaving your WhatsApp data exposed to anyone else who may use that PC. This is because unlike the WhatsApp app on your phone WhatsApp Web logs you in directly every time you open the browser.

To prevent this, simply log out from WhatsApp Web from an office or public PC when it isn’t going to be used there for a long time. You can also use the WhatsApp Web notification on your phone to check when WhatsApp Web is active on a PC.





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