Millions of people use WhatsApp every day to be in touch their friends and family. But few people know that fraudsters could do the same in their name. Again and again, there are cases in the headlines where fraudsters steal WhatsApp accounts. For what purpose do you ask yourself? Well, although this may seem like a trivial matter at first, it could have serious consequences for your contacts in the end.
After all, criminals have hijacked your account, they could send chain letters or similar with manipulated links in your name, through which data or even money could be stolen. And this is only one scenario. But you can protect your WhatsApp account from thieves. And not just by means of an app lock.
WhatsApp accounts are generally vulnerable?
A lot basically depends on your cell phone number and the security of your WhatsApp account. When you register with the messenger service, you use your cell phone number. You will also receive the verification code to this number when you set up your account. If you additionally protect your account with a PIN, WhatsApp also sends you information via SMS – or e-mail – on how to reset it if you forget the PIN.
And here’s the crux of the matter: if the scammers know your cell phone number, they can forward SMS messages to it relatively easily. This can be done, for example, by using various tricks to request a replacement SIM card from your mobile provider. This is commonly known as “SIM swapping”. This way, the fraudsters get all the SMS that you receive.
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How to protect your WhatsApp account from scammers?
Generally, there are some things you should never do on WhatsApp to keep criminals away from you. In particular, there are specific tools you can use to protect yourself, the account as well as your mobile number.
Rather than receiving verification codes and the like via SMS or email, you can lock your WhatsApp account with 2-factor authentication and protect it from strangers. In case you forget your PIN, use apps instead, like Google Authenticator. Here, there is a fairly large selection of popular providers that offer you secure handling of your passwords and also the reset. Some of them are:
- Google Authenticator
The benefit to apps like these is that they don’t just help you recreate the PIN for your WhatsApp account. You can use them to manage all your passwords as well as keep them safe.
Like we mentioned before, if you turn on two-step verification for your WhatsApp account and use apps like Google Authenticator rather than email or sms, you can easily increase your WhatsApp account’s security and prevent you WhatsApp from being hacked by scammers.
If you have any questions regarding how to prevent strangers from hacking your WhatsApp account, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.