How to Make Your WhatsApp Account Really Safe

Cybersecurity expert Zak Duffman has shared the keys for the user to configure the “app” correctly to protect their privacy.

WhatsApp is not at its best. The messaging application has been involved in controversy for weeks due to its new conditions of use, which will allow the platform to share its users’ data with Facebook for commercial purposes. Something that is causing the tool, which has more than 2,000 million users worldwide, to lose Internet users. This is collected, for example, by the application analytics company App Annie, which maintains that WhatsApp has fallen throughout the month of the month from the 8th position of the most downloaded applications in the United Kingdom to the 23rd. And that the new conditions do not they will take effect in the Islands, as in the states that make up the European Union.

Now, the cybersecurity expert Zak Doffman has shared through the magazine “Forbes” the three steps that users should take to improve the privacy of an account on the social network. He also reminds that, despite the changes in the conditions, the application will not have access to the user’s messages, which, according to WhatsApp promises, are end-to-end encrypted, so he could not read them even if he wanted to. He also remarks that the messaging “app” is not by far the service that collects the most data.

«WhatsApp collects too much data, much more than Signal, Telegram or iMessage. But, compared to apps like Facebook, Messenger, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, it collects very little. So, unless you avoid those others, WhatsApp is not your biggest problem, “says the expert.

Borja Adsuara, the digital lawyer and former director of Red.es, move along the same lines. In conversation with ABC, the lawyer is surprised by the controversy that has arisen regarding the new conditions of use of the messaging platform: «The same people who complain that WhatsApp and Facebook are very bad last year were giving them their data to the Russian company FaceApp to see how they will be when they grow up.

So that your account is not infected
Be that as it may, in order to improve the security of user data on WhatsApp, Doffman highlights, first of all, the importance of distrusting external links and files from unknown users, as they may carry a computer virus hidden. Precisely, the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (Incibe), recently alerted about the increase in the theft of WhatsApp accounts in our country. When a cybercriminal manages to get hold of one, it is quite common for him to try to launch attacks against his contacts using malicious code aimed at stealing personal data and banking information.

To avoid potential risks, the expert recommends deactivating the automatic download of videos and photos to the “smartphone”. This will also help you save space on your device’s internal storage.

Activate 2-step verification
Normally, the thefts of WhatsApp accounts are carried out through campaigns in which cybercriminals use social engineering to trick the victim into providing a 6-digit verification code that, previously, has arrived by SMS. The trick is that the criminal has previously downloaded the messaging application and used the phone number of the account he intends to steal. Then, it is when the service sends the code so that the Internet user can prove that he is the true owner.

To avoid this problem, in addition to not sharing any information on social networks lightly, Doffman recommends activating two-step verification. When used, you have the option of entering an email address. This allows WhatsApp to send you a link to reset your PIN via email in case you forget it, and also helps protect your account.

Don’t save chats in the cloud
End-to-end encryption guarantees, on paper, that the messages you send via WhatsApp are only visible to whoever makes them and who receives them. However, Doffman warns that this encryption disappears when those chats are stored on cloud platforms. Regardless of whether your “smartphone” is iOS, that is, iPhone, or Android. “There are no serious claims that its content is analyzed or extracted from data in the cloud, but Apple or Google can access it, invalidating the purpose of end-to-end encryption of WhatsApp,” explains the expert who, for this reason, recommends disabling backups of chats. Although he recognizes that the loss of a specific conversation due to not being stored can cause problems for the user.

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