Beware! WhatsApp chats are not that safe!
We share so much personal data including photos, videos, bank account details, contacts etc. on WhatsApp. But if one takes privacy and security of WhatsApp for granted then the consequence could be grave, beware!
According to a recent statistic, WhatsApp has more than 700 million monthly active members, sending a combined total of 30 billion messages a month. That’s a whole lot of personal data and makes the situation potentially more risky for the users. Experts advice WhatsApp users to secure their personal chats.
Here are some top WhatsApp security tips for you:
Protect the app with a password or PIN. If you lose your phone, it’s going to prevent anyone else accessing your chats. WhatsApp itself doesn’t offer such a function, but there are third-party apps that do. Messenger and Chat Lock, Lock for WhatsApp and Secure Chat are three Android apps that do just that.
Deactivate WhatsApp if you lose your phone
If your phone is lost or stolen, WhatsApp offers simple and effective security tips to keep control of your account. As well as locking your SIM card through your network provider, WhatsApp recommends that you immediately activate WhatsApp with the same phone number on a different phone, with a replaced SIM. By doing so you instantly block your WhatsApp account from being used on your old phone, because the app can only be used by one number on one device at a time.
Make WhatsApp photos invisible in photoroll/gallery
When you share images, you may not want them to appear in your general photostream always, especially those private, personal ones. On iPhone, it’s easy to fix: Go into your phone’s Settings menu, then to ‘Privacy’, ‘Photos’, and deselect WhatsApp from the list of apps whose images are fed into the photostream.
For Android users, a file manager app like ES File Explorer will have to be used. Find WhatsApp’s ‘Images’ and ‘Videos’ folders. Create a file within each called ‘.nomedia’. That will stop Android’s Gallery from scanning the folder.
If you exclude WhatsApp images from your photoroll, and lock the app as above, it make your phone more secure in case it’s stolen or hacked into. It is not a fully secure solution at all though.
Hide ‘last seen’ timestamp
Suppose you don’t want contacts to know at what time you checked WhatsApp. You can disable or restrict who sees your ‘last seen’ time in WhatsApp’s ‘Profile’; ‘Privacy’ menu, in Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry. But, if you turn it off, you won’t be able to see other users’ ‘last seen’ times either, be aware!
Watch out for scams
WhatsApp itself will never contact you through the app. Nor do they send emails about chats, voice messages, payment, photos, videos etc., unless you email them for their help and support. Anything offering a free subscription, claiming to be from WhatsApp or encouraging you to follow links in order to safeguard your account is definitely a scam and not to be trusted.
Avoid sending personal information
Avoid sending personal information if you can possibly avoid it – addresses, phone numbers, email addresses. Never send your bank, social security or credit card details, or your passport or other identification details.
Log out of WhatsApp Web
Most users are unaware that they should ideally log out of WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp’s recently launched web service, on Google Chrome browser either from their mobile or the browser.