WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging applications globally; along with others such as Telegram, thousands of people use it worldwide. In some countries, this app is the primary way to send messages, photos, and videos. With this vast number of users, it is expected that we may be concerned about the security of the application, or it may be the case that we have been involved in a matter of account theft or have read something about it, not only WhatsApp accounts, Since on other platforms they can also be stolen from us, that is why we have also made guides to recover them on Facebook and Instagram.
Therefore, in this guide, we will explain WhatsApp’s different security options and how we can use and configure them to protect our accounts from any attempted theft. What to do if you lose access to our account or someone has managed to access it without our permission.
The WhatsApp security system: The key is in the mobile, literally.
WhatsApp uses a security system somewhat different from the rest of conventional applications or utilities. Generally, for other services, we will need to register with an email or some data to link the account to them and thus recover it if necessary. Still, WhatsApp uses another system using only the account’s phone number.
Using just the phone to log in may seem like an insecure way to log in, but even if everyone knows our phone number, logging into the account will send us a login code to that phone number as well. that only the person who has access to that phone number and its SMS will be able to log in to that number’s account, even if you are logging in on another device. If you add to this that you can only have a single “main” WhatsApp session, it is practically impossible for someone to take over our session without us finding out, since the moment they do so, we will no longer have access from our device.
But the issue of WhatsApp sessions has another problem. As we have just mentioned, you can only have one “main” session, but other secondary sessions can hang from that session, such as WhatsApp Web sessions. To start these sessions, we will need to scan a QR code that will appear in the browser or on the device we want to start the session, using the WhatsApp application from our mobile. In addition, we will be able to see and close all the sessions that we have open from the application itself. Whenever one of them is in use, we will receive a permanent notification on our phone so that, even if someone took our mobile and started one, we would give an account.
What to do if someone steals your WhatsApp account?
As we have commented previously, the only way, someone would have to steal our WhatsApp account would be by physically stealing our mobile. In that case, they could either use our mobile to access having to overcome all the security layers that we have, or extract the sim of the mobile and use it on another device without having to unlock it to log into our account.
Therefore, the simplest way to protect ourselves against this will be by preventing our mobile from being stolen. Still, in case it has already been taken away, we can choose to delete the account altogether or follow the following steps to recover the WhatsApp account:
- Log in from another device: if we get a duplicate SIM, we can use it on another mobile to log in and access the account, and as there can only be one active session, we will kick the other person who had stolen our account from the session.
- Block the SIM of our stolen phone: secondly, we can call our phone company to deactivate the mobile sim card, which will make it completely unusable and, therefore, cannot be used to log in to services such as WhatsApp.
- Contact WhatsApp support and deactivate the account: as a last resort, if we want to prevent them from entering our account, we can email WhatsApp support ([email protected]) with the subject “Stolen / lost phone: Please deactivate my account.” Then in the body of the message, we will have to indicate our number in the international format, that is, with +34 in the case of Spain or with the country code corresponding to the number. This will not delete the account entirely, nor will the messages sent to you during that time be lost. Still, after 30 days, the account will be automatically deleted if we have not activated it on another new device with a new SIM or if we have not contacted support from WhatsApp again.
Turn on 2-Step Verification.
Although we have several options to ensure that no one enters our account if our mobile is stolen, the best thing to do is always prevent it. The WhatsApp application itself gives us an option for this: two-step verification. We can use this option to ensure that apart from having our mobile physically, an additional password is required. To activate two-step verification, we will have to go to account and two-step verification. Then we will be asked for a pin and an email address in case we want to recover the password later. And with this method, we will put one more security barrier in the account, making it more difficult for someone to steal it from us in the future.