Five ways to ensure WhatsApp security for yourself
With our lives rapidly adapting to the digitalisation taking place, it is only natural to find yourself losing track of where your information is stored. Perhaps the only platform that takes note of everything beginning from your location, to contact details and pictures is WhatsApp. But we're aware that we cannot live with, or without WhatsApp! The instant messaging app has been making our lives simpler, if not more convenient, since 2014.
It has gone from being a messaging app to a business platform, and today it can help you transfer your cash in the simplest way possible. However, so much information in one place does make it a 'hacker's paradise'. Several have fallen prey to notorious scams and hacks that have plagued the social media platform in the past couple of months. But you don't need to go off WhatsApp to shield yourself from these scams. Taking certain precautions is all it takes to keep yourself secure on the instant messaging site. Here's are a few steps you can take to keep yourself guarded against scams:
Get two-step verification
Two-step verification allows you to set up a second email id that will allow WhatsApp to send you a link when prompted. This feature helps WhatsApp email you a reset link, in case you ever forget your PIN, letting you safeguard your account.
You can find this feature on your Andoird/iOS device within Account settings. Further, you can set a six-digit PIN which you'll have to type in before logging into the app. After going through with this process, you'll be able to add an email address you want to use to reset your PIN.
Post this, WhatsApp will prompt you for the PIN periodically. Enabling a two-step verification makes sure you don't fall prey to phishing scams and helps you get through to your account in case you get locked out.
Setting up a biometric verification can never go wrong. WhatsApp gives you the option to enable a fingerprint or face id log-in, instead of your regular PIN and pattern. You can enable this feature in the Privacy tab on your Account settings, where you can record your face id or fingerprint. This feature makes sure your passcode is unique, unlike passwords or PINs which can be copied, manipulated by people around you.
Disabling auto-addition to groups
A lesser-known, yet an important feature that WhatsApp provides you with is disabling auto-addition to groups. Spam groups are common on WhatsApp, and it is easy to find yourself being a victim of promotional groups that can, in turn, be harmful to your phone. You can nip this problem at its bud by turning off this feature in your account settings. Click on Group privacy and turn it to either 'Nobody' or 'Friends' to ensure security on groups.
Check chat encryption for an unknown number
WhatsApp ensures end-to-end encryption for all your chats. However, there's no harm in making sure if you're looking to share information with an unknown number. Open a chat, click on the person's name at the top, and check the encryption under the 'Encryption' tab. You will then be able to see a QR and security code below.
Apart from these methods, WhatsApp now allows you to see if a particular message was forwarded 'too many times'. It is always best to cross-check the source of forwards that you receive on a group.