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Finding out that your WhatsApp account has been compromised can be a deeply unsettling ordeal. It not only jeopardizes your private chats and sensitive data but also endangers the people in your contact list.
Thankfully, WhatsApp offers a range of precautions to help you regain control of your account and protect it against unauthorized intrusions in the future.
In this article, GhanaTechBase will guide you through the essential procedures for reclaiming a hacked WhatsApp account on an Android device.
Whether your account has been compromised due to a phishing attempt, a weak password, or another security lapse, these techniques will aid you in regaining access and fortifying the security of your account.
1. How can I Recover a Hacked WhatsApp Account?
As soon as you notice someone other than yourself using your WhatsApp account, take these immediate action.
This situation arises when your contacts begin receiving WhatsApp messages from your account that you didn’t send, or when you come across status updates and posts in WhatsApp groups that you didn’t create. Note that these steps don’t apply to cases involving stolen or lost phones.
It’s conceivable that someone else might be accessing your device through a desktop or WhatsApp Web, which you had previously linked to. Your initial task is to reverse this connection to ensure you’re not dealing with hackers.
- Open your WhatsApp >> Tap the three vertical dots at the top right, beside the search bar >> Tap on WhatsApp web >> Log out of all devices
If you find out that no device is linked and you continue to experience the same thing, then follow the steps below to recover a hacked WhatsApp account:
- Log out of your WhatsApp messenger and log in again using your phone number
- A six-digit code will be sent to your phone number via SMS. Enter the code.
- This logs you into your account immediately and automatically logs out the hacker.
- If you are asked to provide a two-step verification code, even though you did not set one up, it means the individual using your account must have activated a two-step verification code. Since you do not have the code, you have to wait another 7 days before you can sign in without the two-step verification code.
- Remember that the hacker had been logged out immediately after you were logged in with the 6-digit SMS code. So no worries. The hacker cannot continue any chat with your contacts, and they cannot even get access to your WhatsApp account during this period.
2. Lost or Stolen Phone. How Do I Recover My WhatsApp Account?
If your phone goes missing, the process of recovering your WhatsApp account involves entirely different steps. In this scenario, you no longer have access to your SIM card, making it impossible to simply log in.
- The initial step is to inform everyone, including WhatsApp, about the situation. When people are aware that you’ve lost control of your account, they can be vigilant regarding any suspicious messages.
- Next, send an email to WhatsApp at email@example.com. In the email, describe the incident, and be sure to include “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” in both the subject line and the body of the email. Additionally, provide the mobile number associated with your WhatsApp account.
- Make sure you send this email from the same email address that you used during the two-factor authentication process. However, if you hadn’t enabled two-factor authentication before losing your phone or if it was stolen, you can use any of your email addresses.
After successfully deactivating your account, the thieves won’t be able to use it to communicate with your contacts.
You now have a 30-day window to recover your account if you wish to regain access to all your saved chats and media stored in the cloud. If you delay beyond these 30 days, you will lose access to all that data permanently.
3. How To Protect and Secure Your WhatsApp Account
WhatsApp Messenger has become an essential tool in our everyday communication, making it easy to connect with friends, family, and colleagues.
As this platform’s popularity surges, it’s crucial to place a high priority on the security and privacy of your WhatsApp account. By taking a few straightforward steps, you can enhance the security of your account and reduce the chances of unauthorized access.
Here are some effective actions to secure your WhatsApp Messenger account:
- Enable Two-Step Verification:
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your WhatsApp account. It requires you to set up a six-digit PIN that will be prompted whenever you register your phone number with WhatsApp. To enable two-step verification, go to WhatsApp settings, select “Account,” then “Two-step verification,” and follow the instructions to set up your unique PIN. Remember to choose a PIN that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.
- Keep WhatsApp Updated:
Regularly updating your WhatsApp Messenger app ensures that you have the latest security patches and bug fixes. Developers continuously work to address vulnerabilities, and by updating your app, you benefit from these improvements. Enable automatic updates on your device or manually check for updates in your app store to ensure you are running the latest version of WhatsApp.
- Be Cautious with Links and Downloads:
Exercise caution when clicking on links or downloading files shared through WhatsApp, especially if they come from unknown sources or seem suspicious. Malicious links and downloads can compromise your account’s security or infect your device with malware. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and only download files from trusted sources.
- Protect Your Phone with a Strong Password:
Ensure that your Android device has a strong and unique password or PIN to prevent unauthorized physical access. This adds an extra layer of security and protects your WhatsApp account from being compromised if your phone falls into the wrong hands.
- Be Mindful of WhatsApp Web:
If you use WhatsApp Web to access your account on a computer, make sure to log out after each session, especially if you are using a shared or public computer. Additionally, regularly review the active WhatsApp Web sessions in your account settings and terminate any sessions you don’t recognize or no longer use.
- Control Your Privacy Settings:
WhatsApp provides various privacy options to control who can see your profile information, status updates, and last-seen timestamps. Navigate to the “Privacy” section in your WhatsApp settings and adjust these settings according to your preferences. Restricting access to your information enhances your account’s privacy and security.
- Use Biometric Locks:
Many Android devices offer biometric authentication options, such as fingerprint or face recognition. Enable these features to add an extra layer of security to your WhatsApp account. This ensures that only you can access your WhatsApp Messenger app.
By putting these security measures into practice, you can greatly boost the safeguarding of your WhatsApp Messenger account. Keep in mind that taking a proactive and watchful approach to your account’s security is crucial in today’s digital world.