It is of great importance to keep your WhatsApp account secure, especially because of the level of personal information that is often exchanged using the messaging application. WhatsApp is used by millions over the world and because of this, the security provided by WhatsApp for your account is strong. However, there is a possibility for your account to be hacked. This article will provide you with the solutions required if your account has been hacked. We will then outline the steps you can take to stop your WhatsApp account from being hacked too.
Part 1) How to Recover a Hacked WhatsApp Account
This part of the article will show you how you can recover your hacked WhatsApp account. We highly recommend that once your WhatsApp account has been recovered, you follow the steps outlined in part 2 to make your WhatsApp account more secure.
Solution 1 – Reactivate WhatsApp account
Each WhatsApp account can only be activated on one mobile device at a time. This means that if someone has hacked your WhatsApp account, your account will be activated on the hacker’s device. However, if you activate WhatsApp on your device, the hacker will lose access to the account. To do this, make sure you have access to the SIM card with the number used for your WhatsApp account. Then,
- Open WhatsApp on your phone and enter your phone number.
- Follow the steps to activate WhatsApp on your phone.
- You will be sent an SMS message with a code that will ensure you have access to the SIM card. Make sure you do not share this code with anyone.
- Either start your WhatsApp account as a new account or restore from the most recent backup.
This is a temporary solution since you have removed control of WhatsApp from the hacker temporarily. The steps you should take to protect your WhatsApp account are listed in part 2 of this article.
Solution 2 – Contact WhatsApp
If you were not able to reactivate your WhatsApp account using your phone number, you will need to contact WhatsApp directly and make them aware that your account has been compromised. WhatsApp can use this information to disable your account until it has been secured and you have access to it.
The easiest method to get in contact with WhatsApp is to use the form available on the WhatsApp website (Contact WhatsApp). This will allow you to enter your details and describe the situation you are in. Make sure to include as much detail as possible, such as the device you are using.
Part 2) How to Prevent WhatsApp from Being Hacked
You have learned about how to recover your WhatsApp account when it is hacked. Next, we would like to share with you 4 tips that you can follow to prevent your WhatsApp from being hacked in the future.
Tip 1 – Check your device for malware
The most common way for hackers to gain access to your WhatsApp account is to install malicious software on your device. This will then give hackers access to your device and its data without you knowing. Malware can often be masked as a background process that is part of the operating system however the malware could be stealing your information. This method could be used by hackers to activate WhatsApp on their devices because the malware can give hackers access to your SMS messages, hence allowing the hackers to see the activation code.
To check your phone for malware, you can install an application that scans your device for malware and then attempts to remove it. For example, you can use Kaspersky or Malwarebytes on Android and Avira Mobile Security on your iPhone. If you are having issues installing a malware removal application, it could be due to the malware blocking the install. In this situation, you will have to perform a factory reset on your device so that all installed software will be removed.
The exact method of doing this varies depending on the device you are using and the operating system it is running on however you can find factory reset options in settings on Android devices and under the general section of settings in iOS.
Once your device has been reset, you will need to set up the device as a new device. You should not restore from a backup because the malware may be part of the backup. Consequently, restoring from a backup may cause you to install the malware on your device again.
Tip 2 – Only install trusted applications
Whilst most applications on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are checked, it is important that you only install trusted applications. You can check if an application is trusted by reading the reviews, checking how many other users have downloaded the application, and searching for the application online to check for its security.
Furthermore, on Android phones, avoid installing APKs unless you 100% trust the APK being installed. If an application is asking for permission that it does not need for its intended purpose, that could be an indicator of a malicious application.
Tip 3 – Change phone number
Whilst it is a tedious process to change your phone number and then distribute the phone number to all your contacts, along with changing your phone number on web services, it may be necessary if your WhatsApp account is constantly being hacked. Changing your phone number will mean that only you have access to that account. If you are on a contract, you can request your mobile service provider to provide you with a new phone number for security processes.
Tip 4 – Do not communicate with unknown contacts
A good practice is to only communicate with those contacts that you know. This is because communicating with unknown contacts could result in them sending you files, especially over WhatsApp that could contain malicious programs. For example, an unknown contact could send you a PDF document and then if you download this document, you could also be downloading a malicious script attached to the PDF document. Therefore, it is vital that you only use WhatsApp to communicate with known and trusted contacts. You should block anyone as soon as you suspect they could be attempting to steal your data. You should also only open WhatsApp files from people you know and trust which will help prevent you from installing malware on your device.
We wrote this article so that you are best aware of how you can protect your WhatsApp account and what to do if your account has been hacked. This is one of many articles we have published regarding WhatsApp so if you are facing other issues whilst using WhatsApp, feel free to check out our other guides.