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How to protect your WhatsApp account against social hacking

Facebook & # 39; s WhatsApp messaging service is incredibly easy to set up, but this simple installation process means that your account can be misused if you are not careful. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to enable an extra layer of security for your account, which means that you will not lose it if your six-digit activation code is compromised.

Unfortunately, these security options won't stop you from a serious hack like the one that hit Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. What it will do is to provide another layer of protection if someone knows how to mislead you to share your security code, a process known as & # 39; social hacking & # 39 ;.

If you want to know convincingly why it is a good idea to use this extra security. Then allow me to share a friend's recent experience about what can go wrong if you don't.

One Sunday morning, she received a WhatsApp message from a close friend who asked if she could send a six-digit code that she was about to receive via text message. Without thinking, and because she trusted her friend, she transferred the code and found that she had suddenly been logged out of her WhatsApp account.

You probably realized what happened. That was not just a six-digit code; it was the six-digit code that WhatsApp sends to your mobile number via SMS to link to your WhatsApp account. By sharing that number, my girlfriend had inadvertently given the attacker permission to log into her account.

Because her attacker was now in control of her account, they were then able to send messages to all contacts with whom she was in the same group chat. For example, the attacker could request my friend's six-digit verification code from another friend's number; they also had control of that account and used it to scam every contact they could report.

In theory, taking over your WhatsApp account would be a fairly easy situation to solve: just enter your phone number in the app and let it send you another six-digit code. The problem is that hackers can spam your number with a number of incorrect six-digit codes, so that you can block your account for up to 1

2 hours. If you subsequently have not set your own PIN code, an attacker will remain free to set your own PIN code for your account, which will exclude you for a total of seven days.

That's why it's so important to remember these two rules:

  1. Never share your six-digit WhatsApp code with anyone – not your parents, not your best friend and certainly not your brother or sister. No one will ever have a legitimate reason to request the code that WhatsApp sends you via SMS, so don't even think about sharing it.
  2. If the worst happens, setting a PIN will act as another barrier to prevent someone from logging into your account and this nightmare from happening to you.

How to secure your WhatsApp account

Somewhat confusing, the pin code is also six digits long. To set it up:

  • Open WhatsApp and tap the three dots at the top right of the screen
  • Press "Settings"> "Account" and then choose "Two-step verification"
  • Press "Enable & # 39; And then choose your six-digit pin code, the screen below gallery will guide you through the entire process.
  • This next step is not mandatory, but you can add an email address to restore your account if you have forgotten your pin code WhatsApp will periodically ask you for your pin code while you use it, so you won't forget it quickly, but we still recommend backing up

One more thing: we would fail if we did not mention that Facebook (WhatsApp's parent company) has had problems in the past using phone numbers for two-factor authentication for advertising targeting, the Federal Trade Commission said. business to stop practicing last year. When we asked WhatsApp, it categorically denied that it does this with its backup email addresses, and we think the benefits of providing an email address outweigh the risks.

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