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WhatsApp can be hacked!! Protect your account!!

WhatsApp can be hacked, despite its claim of End-to-End encryption. There are many such reports in media including the hacking of WhatsApp account of Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos. Can your WhatsApp account be hacked? Yes, unless you are careful. Read this article.

 

Contributed By:

  • Megavarshini, 6th, Navy Children School, New Delhi
  • Mallika Srivastav, 8th, DAV Public School Jasola Vihar
  • Riya Singh, 10th, Navy Children School, Kochi
  • Apeksha Maurya, 8th, DAV Public School, Jasola Vihar, New Delhi
  • Nikhil, 8th, DAV Public school
  • Ansh Kumar Singh, 6th, Navy Children School, Karwar
  • Shruti Kumari, 9th, DAV Public School Jasola Vihar

 

WhatsApp is today’s one of the most widely used chat apps in the world. This messaging apps not only made our life easy in conveying our messages to friends and family but also helped us to share message in larger groups. Through such apps people can promote their business, exchange thoughts, share songs and entertainment videos and contents. Students can share their study materials with friends and teachers and take online classes. Despite lots of benefits, these messaging apps have some risk also, if not used with care.

To provide a sense of security, WhatsApp launched its end to end encryption system last year. It gives a feeling in the user community that it is safe from hackers.  But that is not true.

 

Can WhatsApp be Hacked?

End-to-end encryption security feature of WhatsApp just ensures the safety of messages in the communication channel between the sender’s and receiver’s devices. What if the hacker hacks the device itself? The hackers adopt many tricks to hack the WhatsApp messages.

 

Some tricks that they use are -

  • Installing some spyware in the device. Hackers succeed in installing such spyware by fooling the users. They may send link or some image file on the name of some prize money, lottery or such incentives. When the user clicks such links, the spyware gets downloaded on the device.
  • Some known friends or relatives can drop a spyware in the unattended or borrowed smartphone and track all messages.
  • By cracking email password. Using the email account, hackers may reach the Google Drive Backup where all the WhatsApp messages and Files are stored.
  • If your device is unattended and doesn’t have screen lock, hackers can quickly scan your WhatsApp QR code on their laptop and access all the messages and files.

 

Protection Mantra:

 

  • Lock WhatsApp Screen. This is the first line of defence. Go to Settings -> Account -> Privacy and select Screen Lock option. Register your finger print here. This will ensure that no one except you can open your WhatsApp account.
  • Log out of WhatsApp Web. If you have accessed WhatsApp on any other device using WhatsApp web, ensure you log out after its use. Otherwise someone else using that device may access all your chats. It is good idea to regularly check if your account is accesses from other devices or not. For this click the three dots on the top right corner, go to WhatsApp Web. You will see list of devices logged in. Log out from all devices.
  • Do not click on any suspicious link or image. If you are tempted to click the link or image, it is a good idea to check from other contacts in the group to check about their experiences.
  • Enable 2-Step Verification. To enable two-step verification, open WhatsApp, go to Settings, click on Account, Two-step verification, and enable it.
  • Review your Privacy settings. Go to Settings->Account->privacy and choose whom you want to share your profile photo, status and other details. It is a good idea to change the Setting to “Contacts only”. This would mean that people listed in your contacts only can see that information.
  • If your smartphone is lost or stolen. Deactivate WhatsApp account before someone hacks it. To deactivate WhatsApp account, go to Settings, Delete my account option, enter phone number, and then click on “Delete my account”.
  • Watch out for scams. Any offerings like free subscription message from WhatsApp or encouraging you to follow links in order to safeguard your account is definitely a scam and should not to be trusted. It is good idea to check from experts in case of any doubt.

 

Weseso is a non-profit organization which works for cyber safety of the society with students as agents of change.

 

To learn more about cyber security read weseso blogs, written by students from different schools. You can also write blogs and take part in various knowledge sharing discussion. To get involved, you first need to become a cyber warrior and become a part of larger community who are committed to secure family, friends and society from cyber crime.

To know how to become a cyber warrior, click the link: https://weseso.org/how-to-become-a-cyber-warrior/