With more than 600 million active users,WhatsApp is now the popular messaging app worldwide.The vast user base also makes the app vulnerable to hacking and other security risks.WhatsApp does release security updates and fixes time to time issues, here are some simple tips from security research company ESET to make it more secure.
Block WhatsApp photos from appearing in Gallery
Pictures that you receive on WhatsApp are automatically stored in your phone’s Gallery, exposing them to anyone who browses photos on your phone. In iPhone, you can go into the phone’s Settings menu, then tap ‘Privacy’, ‘Photos’, and deselect WhatsApp which will restrict this.
For Android users it’s a little bit complicated.Using a file explorer app such as ES File Explorer, you can find WhatsApp’s ‘Images’ and ‘Videos’ folders and create a file within each called ‘.nomedia’. This will stop Android Gallery app from scanning the folder.If not get KeepSafe app from the play store and hide the selected pics and videos.(This app can be used to any pics or videos on your smartphone).
Restrict access to profile picture
Set profile picture sharing to “contacts only” in the Privacy menu to hide your WhatsApp profile photo from unknown users and the people who are not in your contacts.People who don’t know you can download your picture from your WhatsApp profile and, through Google Image search, can find out more about you so this would help you from all these problems.
Beware of scams
WhatsApp will never contact users through the app and does not send emails about chats, voice messages, payment, changes, photos, or videos, unless you contact their help and support.
Anyone 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 should not be trusted. These links could lead to websites that install malware and spyware or track your personal details.
Deactivate WhatsApp if you lose your phone
If you lose your smartphone,immediately activate WhatsApp with the same phone number on a different phone, with a replacement SIM.One of the basic security measures that WhatsApp takes is that the app can only be used by one number on one device at a time, so by doing so you instantly block it from being used on your old phone.If that’s not possible, WhatsApp can also deactivate your account.
Keep the WhatsApp app locked
WhatsApp doesn’t offer a built-in password or pin, you can use third party apps like Messenger and Chat Lock, Lock for WhatsApp and Secure Chat if you use an Android phone.This will help you from exposing your private chats,photos and videos from others who steal your smartphone or take it from you.
Hide the ‘last seen’ timestamp
WhatsApp’s much disliked ‘last seen’ feature can also be disabled, it could help prevent your stalker know what time you were last online.You can disable or restrict who sees your ‘last seen’ time in WhatsApp’s ‘Profile’; ‘Privacy’ menu, in Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry.However, if you turn it off, you won’t be able to see other users’ ‘last seen’ times either.
Be careful of what you talk about
You should not share confidential information, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, bank or credit card details, or passport or other identification details on WhatsApp.A man in the middle attack could lead to this information being compromised. WhatsApp has introduced end-to-end encryption for its Android users but other platforms are still vulnerable.