WhatsApp Hacked? How To Tell & What To Do Next
One of the best features of WhatsApp is its focus on security. WhatsApp has a number of effective privacy features in place to protect your account. However, as with any internet-connected app, these security measures aren’t always failsafe. Unfortunately, it’s possible for fraudsters to find loopholes and access your WhatsApp account.
If you’re worried that your WhatsApp account may have been hacked, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the common tell-tale signs that your account has been compromised, and a checklist to help you work out if someone else is accessing it. We’ll walk through how to secure your WhatsApp again, and share some top tips to help keep your account safe in the future.
What are the warning signs if my WhatsApp has been hacked?
There are several tell-tale signs to look out for if someone else has been accessing your WhatsApp account. Keep an eye out for the following signals:
Messages marked as read that you haven’t read
Normally, when you open WhatsApp, you’ll see a number of notifications for new messages that you haven’t read yet. If you start to notice that messages are being marked as ‘read’ that you haven’t opened yourself, it’s possible that someone else has been reading them before you’ve had a chance to.
New contacts added to your contacts list
Sometimes hackers will use your account to send spam messages to other accounts, and in order to do this, they may add unknown numbers to your contacts list. Look out for any unknown accounts that you haven’t added yourself.
New messages that you don’t recognise
If you’re suddenly receiving a lot of new messages from people that you don’t recognise, or worse, notice that unauthorised messages are being sent from your account to numbers on your contact list, it’s a clear sign that your account isn’t secure.
Your name, profile picture or contact details have been changed
It’s always worth keeping an eye on your profile details to make sure that they haven’t been hijacked by hackers. If a hacker is trying to impersonate you or use your account for their own purposes, they may change your details in order to get the response that they want from their target.
Linked devices that you don’t recognise
WhatsApp accounts can be accessed on multiple ‘linked’ devices. This is a common way that hackers will try to access your chats and account information. If your list of linked devices is showing additional devices that you don’t recognise, it may be that a hacker or an unauthorised user is accessing your account via WhatsApp web on their own device.
How to tell if your WhatsApp has been hacked
Check your messages
Review your chats to see if there are any messages that you didn’t send, or messages received from contacts that you don’t know.
Check your contacts lists
Check to see if any new numbers have been added to your contacts lists. If you don’t recognise some contacts or you didn’t add them yourself, they may have been added by a hacker.
Check your profile and contact information
Look at your profile including your name, photo and phone number. If any information has changed, your account may have been hacked.
Check your linked devices
Go to Settings, then choose Linked Devices. You’ll be able to see any devices that are logged into your WhatsApp account on this page. Check the list for any unknown devices, and if you find any, tap it and select Log Out.
What should I do if my WhatsApp has been hacked?
So you’ve found out that someone else is accessing your WhatsApp account – what should you do next? It’s time to secure your account. Act quickly and take the following steps.
Secure your account
Use your phone number to sign into WhatsApp and enter the 6-digit code that you receive via SMS to verify your account. Once you’ve done this, any individuals using your account on another phone will be logged out.
If you’re asked to enter a two-step verification code, but you haven’t previously set it up, it’s possible that the hacker may have enabled two-step verification. If this is the case, you will need to wait seven days before you can sign in without the two-step verification code. You can find out more on WhatsApp’s website.
Tell your family and friends
Notify your contact list as soon as you realise that your account has been hacked. The last thing you want is for a hacker to impersonate you in your chats with family and friends – particularly as they may try to ask for money or valuable information from your loved ones.
Log out of any linked devices
Make sure that any unauthorised web applications using WhatsApp are logged out. Go to Settings, then Linked Devices, and log out of any devices that you don’t recognise.
Block unknown contacts
If hackers have added new contacts to your account or have participated in groups that you don’t recognise, you’ll need to cut off contact immediately. Review your recent chats, block unrecognised contacts, and remove yourself from any new groups that you weren’t previously part of.
How to prevent your WhatsApp being hacked
Now that you’ve successfully recovered your WhatsApp account, how can you keep it safe and secure in the future? Follow these top tips to stop hackers from accessing your WhatsApp account.
Enable two-step verification on your WhatsApp account
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your WhatsApp account. To set it up, go to Settings, then Account, then Two-step verification. From here, you can create a PIN number that you’ll use every time you access the app every time you register your phone number on WhatsApp again.
Never share your 6-digit registration code with anyone else
If someone else tries to take over your account, they’ll need the SMS verification code sent to your phone number. That’s why it’s so important to keep the 6-digit registration code safe and never share it with someone else.
Take care to avoid clicking on phishing links
Think twice before clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown attachments. These links can sometimes be used to harvest your data and allow fraudsters to gain access to your account. Be wary of messages from unknown numbers, messages that are poorly written, and offers that use high-pressure sales tactics.
How to harness the power of WhatsApp Business
So, you’ve decided to use WhatsApp Business instead of WhatsApp Messenger for your company comms – how should you get started? With YourBusinessNumber, it couldn’t be easier.
As you can’t use the same phone number for both apps, you’ll need a second virtual phone number to verify your new business account. We generate your brand new unique number in just a few clicks and send it to you via SMS. You can then use this number to set up your business account.
If you need help at any point in the process, our comprehensive customer support will help you get back on track. Plus, with cost-effective, stress-free and flexible plans, you’re in complete control.
So, what are you waiting for? Generate your new business number today.
George Lineker -
The co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, George has a lasting interest in modern communications technology, and is an advocate of simple and easy to use tools for businesses of all sizes. He has a background in mobile telecom solutions along with qualifications in business and management support services.
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