Every day WhatsApp is used to share huge amounts of information, much of which is personal or sensitive, and therefore valuable to malicious actors.
Adopt these best practices to be secure when using the application.
1. Enable Two-Step Verification
Two-Step Verification adds an additional layer of security to accessing your WhatsApp account. Enabling this feature means any attempt to verify your phone number must be accompanied by a six-digit PIN, making your account more secure. PINs should not be six consecutive digits or based on personal information such as a birthday.
To enable Two-Step Verification:
Open WhatsApp settings and select Account
Choose Two-Step Verification Menu
Tap Enable and create a unique six-digit passcode
Enter an email address for code recovery
2. Never share your registration code or Two-Step verification PIN with others
You should never share your WhatsApp SMS verification code with others. If someone is trying to take over your account, they need the SMS verification code sent to your phone number to do so. Your Two-Step verification PIN should also only be known by you and never shared to prevent unauthorized access.
3. Open your WhatsApp Application with a fingerprint or Face ID
Safeguard your WhatsApp application with biometric information such as a fingerprint or face ID. This setting will automatically lock WhatsApp after a time period of your choice and therefore help prevent someone who picks up your phone from accessing your chats.
To lock WhatsApp with biometric information on Android:
Click on Privacy
Tap on the Fingerprint Lock
Check Unlock with fingerprint and set your time for automatic lock
How to lock WhatsApp with biometric information on iPhone:
Scroll down and tap Screen Lock
Turn on Require Face ID or Touch ID
4. Disable message previews
By default, WhatsApp displays a brief preview of messages on the lock screen of your phone. With this setting on, a malicious actor could see who you are in contact with and some of the contents of the message.
To switch off message previews on iPhone:
Disable the Show Preview switch
To switch off message previews on Android:
Go to your phone Settings
Under chats section uncheck Show Notifications
5. Turn security notifications on
WhatsApp use unique security codes to verify that the calls and messages you send to a chat are end-to-end encrypted. These codes can be found in the contact info screen under encryption.
At times the security codes used in end-to-end encrypted chats may change due to your contact reinstalling WhatsApp, changing phones, or adding or removing a paired device. Turning on security notifications means you will receive a notification every time a new security code is generated, giving you guarantee the chat is encrypted.
To enable security notifications on iPhone:
Go to Settings
Choose Security notifications
Tap on Show security notification
To enable security notifications on Android:
Tap the three-dot menu at the top right of the screen