It is not a good welcome, probably after a long day, to open your WhatsApp on your mobile only to get a notification that your account has been logged in on another device. Not you? Then your account has been hacked. Wait, what? Yes, and here comes the panic. But relax. In this guide, I will show you the latest way to recover a hacked WhatsApp account in quick, easy steps; plus, a thing or two on how to secure your account.
It is no longer news that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app, and its security is one of the main reasons. WhatsApp messenger right from the onset is concerned about the safety of accounts, and the information transmitted across various accounts against third-party access. The data that you send or receive from or to your account are encrypted on an end-to-end basis on each device, eliminating the possibility of a third party accessing it; even WhatsApp itself cannot access your chats. You can even control who sees your WhatsApp status or not. That is for data flow on the messaging platform, now to login access.
Creating an account or logging into an existing WhatsApp account is a unique, secured process. You need a phone number and a code that WhatsApp will send to that number upon login request. Pretty secured, you will agree, considering that you are the one with your phone number and definitely will be the one to receive the text containing the login code. But hackers have taken it to the next level, and you can be hacked regardless.
How do you know you have been hacked?
Being hacked can sometimes be a tricky experience, and sometimes you can be hacked without you even knowing. But check out these red flags.
You know you have been hacked when you open your WhatsApp and see that you have been logged out, with information telling you that you have been logged out because your account has been logged in on another device. WhatsApp does not support login to the app on multiple devices at the same time.
When your WhatsApp contacts start telling you about a message you supposedly sent recently, and you know deep down that you did not send anything. Or you find some recent activities that are strange to you. Your account may have been hacked, and the hacker is using it via WhatsApp Web version, hence why you are still logged in on your device.
You know someone is trying to hack your account when you receive an SMS from WhatsApp containing your WhatsApp verification code when you never requested one. It means whoever has your number already and has inputted it in a WhatsApp messaging app and is just waiting for the verification code. It’s a red flag, so you have to be on alert. Secure your WhatsApp immediately if you haven’t done that.
How to recover your hacked WhatsApp account
Once you notice any of the above, recovering your account has to be done swiftly to stop any further damage or activity the hacker is causing or doing with your account. Who knows, the hacker might already be using the account to swindle some details from your friends and even get away with some cash. So quickly do the following:
- The first action is to log in to your account again if you were logged out previously. This will cause your account on the hacker’s device to be logged out immediately.
- After logging in to your account, proceed to log out from every other device your account might have been logged in to. This is just in case your account has also been logged in on the WhatsApp web version.
If your case is the second hack scenario, just unlink devices connected to your account or do the following to be sure.
- Log out your WhatsApp account
- Now proceed to log in again using the new WhatsApp verification code that will be sent to you. This will log out from every session.
- Input verification code? No worries, the hacker must have enabled it; wait seven days, and you can log in again without.
I strongly advise you to secure your account after recovering it.
The WhatsApp web feature allows you to link your WhatsApp account to multiple devices and use them individually. It is never a good idea to log in your accounts to devices that are not yours entirely. But sometimes the need arises and you just have to. You should log out once you are done using it so that someone else might not have access to it and use your account for some other agenda. Just in case this time around you forgot to log out, here is how to log out your WhatsApp from all linked devices.
- Open WhatsApp messaging app on your mobile phone. You can only unlink via this one.
- Open Options from the chats tab. You know the three dots.
- Click on Linked Devices from the options.
- Now click on Log out of all devices.
How to secure your WhatsApp account
The safety of your WhatsApp account now lies in your hands.
- Don’t share any WhatsApp code with anybody.
- Limit access to your mobile device, someone might clone it.
- And lastly, enable two-step verification.
Just like the two-factor authentication on Facebook, Two-step verification is a type of multi-factor authentication that requires a user to provide two pieces of electronic evidence before being granted access to a process. This process could be opening an application or logging into an account on a website. It is there to protect against unauthorized access by a third party to a user’s account.
How to Enable two-step verification on WhatsApp
Enabling two-step verification on WhatsApp is as easy as Account > Two-step verification > Enable. This followed by a list of other:
- Open the WhatsApp application on your device. Since it is tied to a particular account, you need to be logged in to enable two-step verification for your account.
- Now click the Options symbol (three vertical dots) at the top right corner of your WhatsApp app interface to open the options menu.
- Select Settings on the options menu. Depending on the tab you were on when you opened the options menu, whether Chats, Status, or the other(s), the number of options will vary, but rest assured there are always settings options.
- On the settings menu, click on Account from the list.
- Click on Two-step verification just after Security on the Account options.
- Now click on the Enable to turn it on. There should be a prompt for you to input a 6-digit PIN.
- Enter a 6-digit PIN. Be careful about this as this is your password for your account, without which you cannot log in to your account. So choose something you can always remember.
- Once the 6-digit PIN has been entered completely, click on the Next button.
- Confirm your 6-digit PIN by re-entering again. Then click Next.
- Next, enter your email address and confirm it by re-entering again. You can skip this option, but I will advise you not to do so. The email is the fastest and easiest way of recovering your account in a situation where you forget your password.
- Are you all done? Click on Save, and two-step verification is enabled on your WhatsApp account.
Hacking is something that will keep on happening so long as perfection does not exist. There is always a loophole, and the best way to stay safe is to stay informed. Luckily you have us giving you the latest tech information.