You can tell if your WhatsApp is being cloned with some simple tips. As the messenger is the most used app in the world, hacking attempts also tend to be large. The app, which is available for Android and iPhone (iOS), does not work on two phones at the same time. However, by gaining access to the smartphone or phone chip, and consequently to the app's QR code, a malicious person can view your personal conversations, including photos and videos.
To protect yourself and prevent your messages from being targeted by attackers, there are some key recommendations, such as checking for unauthorized devices logged into WhatsApp Web / Desktop. In addition, it is important to recognize when the platform is vulnerable. Here are three methods to test on your phone to find out if WhatsApp is being "watched".
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1. Check for strange activity on your account
It's important to keep an eye out for messages you probably haven't sent and are on your phone. Another interesting tip is to check if a conversation is read, even if you haven't received the notification or viewed the content. This behavior may mean that your WhatsApp is active in a different place than your device. Occasional failures can occur in the app, but if episodes continue to recur, I need to be alert.
Checking sent and viewed messages is one of the methods to find out if your account is being hacked or not. Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
2. Active Sessions in WhatsApp Web
WhatsApp Web allows you to access your messenger account from your computer. Just scan your phone's QR code to view your messages on the desktop in real time. Thanks to the feature, you can check if there are any unauthorized devices connected to the app. In the WhatsApp "Settings" option, the user should go to the "WhatsApp Web / Desktop" option and check which devices have active sessions. If you recognize any strange movements, just click on the option "Exit all sessions". That way if any unknown device is connected, it will be removed.
It is important to always log out of active WhatsApp Web sessions to prevent them from unauthorized access to your messages. Photo: Playback / Ana Clara Frontelmo
3. Watch out for spy apps
Through special apps, usually available on Android phones, malicious people can access calls and messages from their mobile phone, including WhatsApp. Remember that you need to have physical access to the smartphone to install the app. To protect yourself, you need to be aware of suspicious movements and unknown software stored on the device.
MSpy, for example, is a program designed to help parents monitor everything their children access and receive on mobile devices. In addition, it is also used by companies wishing to follow the actions of their employees on corporate phones and tablets. The system can be controversial because of the discreet installation and if it is used for a purpose other than the proposed one, such as to watch over someone's WhatsApp.
Beware of spy apps that can monitor your WhatsApp Photo: Joo Balbi / TechTudo
To prevent your WhatsApp from being hacked, it is interesting to follow some security tips.
- Enable 2-step verification in WhatsApp account settings. The feature adds an extra layer of security to the application;
- Do not install apps from unknown or authorized sources. Also, avoid using the messenger in "turbocharged" versions such as GB WhatsApp or Yo WhatsApp. Always try to download the platform from the Google Play Store or App Store;
- Avoid connecting your phone to unknown Wi-Fi connections;
- For iPhone (iOS), there is the alternative of locking by using Touch ID (fingerprint) in WhatsApp. Please note that the update is only available for iPhone 5S and higher (up to iPhone 8 and 8 Plus) users. In the case of iPhones X, XS, XS Max and XR models, the protection is made with face recognition;
- Do not leave your smartphone unattended when you are away from it. Avoid sharing the device with strangers;
- Install a password entry application on WhatsApp. This way, when someone tries to access the messenger, it will be necessary to also enter the password of the application, in addition to the normal unlock of the phone;
- If your WhatsApp is already hacked, you can deactivate your account by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the profile is not accessed for 30 days, it will be deleted automatically.