Can you spy on Whatsapp? How to protect chat and messages from hackers and spy apps

make whatsapp safe The fact that Whatsapp has now become the world standard for sending messages from a mobile phone when a news item spreads about how it was possible to spy on a smartphone using spyware that is installed following a call, makes a big stir. As the site Hackernews writes, Whatsapp has recently patched a serious vulnerability that was exploited by the attackers to remotely install a spy malware (called Pegasus) on some “selected” smartphones (in the sense that they were specific objectives, not surprisingly) simply by calling the their phone numbers via the Whatsapp audio call function itself. This Whatsapp vulnerability has now been resolved in the latest version of the application and it is recommended for all users to install the update.

Since Whatsapp is so important and so popular, it is important to know how to implement it protects your smartphone from spy software, malware and, in particular, to prevent conversations from being read by other people, especially those close to us (wives, husbands, boyfriends or friends). It should also be noted that one can spy on Whatsapp only with a little cunning, taking advantage of a person’s carelessness, for those who can get their hands on the phone. If those who want to spy on chats are smart enough, they can quickly organize themselves not only to read chats by phone, but also by reading all future messages sent and received, without the victim noticing.

Spy on Whatsapp

Spying on Whatsapp is therefore possible, just as it is possible to spy on the data of any smartphone remotely. To do this, however, it is necessary to install malware or one of the simple and innocent on the target phone spy app which is easily found by searching on Google. For example, we can name commercial apps to control other (non-free) phones that work without needing root permissions on Android and without Jailbreak on iPhone like:

  • MSPY
  • iKeyMonitor
  • SpyMyPhone
  • XNSpy
  • TrackMyPhone
  • Spyzie
  • Flexispy

Their peculiarity is that after installation they hide on the system without being noticed and are able to send data remotely to the person who installed it. Another trivial example is that of a notorious anti-theft application like Cerberus, free for a week, which allows you to check the victim’s mobile remotely without problems.
There are also more advanced techniques that allow you to spy on a phone and even Whatsapp without installing anything on the target smartphone, but only a few particularly capable people may be able to implement them effectively (for example by cloning the Mac Address of the phone to spy on can access his Whatsapp account from his mobile phone).

Protect Whatsapp from spyware, hackers and spy apps

To protect Whatsapp chats and not to be spied in any way, without getting lost with unnecessary precautions, there are 15 suggestions and tips to know and to adopt, all or almost according to needs.

1) Update the app

To protect chats and messages on Whatsapp, nothing special needs to be done, but it is very important that the application is always updated to the latest version. To do this, both on Android and on iPhone, you need to make sure that the automatic update is active in the stores, respectively Google Play Store and Apple Store.

2) Use Whatsapp only with the official app

If you use Whatsapp from other unofficial apps, you should stop doing it. As already reported a few years ago, Do not use Whatsapp Plus or Gold or any other unofficial app, because it may not be safe and easily steal user data.
For the same reasons, never access other applications using your Whatsapp account.

3) Use verification with two Whatsapp factors

This is certainly the most effective way to secure Whatsapp and counter almost any attempt to hacking or cloning even the SIM. This method ensures that no one else can set our WhatsApp on your mobile phone without knowing the 6-digit secret code that becomes like a password.
To activate two-step verification of your Whatsapp account, you only need to go to Settings> Account.

4) Block WhatsApp

If necessary, you can protect Whatsapp from blocking chat access. Each time you open Whatsapp, you will be asked for an entry code or password.

5) Protect your phone

The phone must then be protected, lock the screen to prevent someone from using it without permission e keep the software (Android and iOS) updated with the latest version.
For added security, you can also use one of those Apps to block the opening of applications on Android, adding another degree of protection to important apps like Whatsapp or even the SMS app.
Who is very cautious could also install an antivirus app on Android that will be able to detect spy apps and malware (although it will be completely useless in the case of malware that uses Whatsapp’s bag as it happened with the Pegasus spyware I mentioned at the beginning of the article).

6) Protect the SMS app

Without particular hacker techniques, it is possible to register Whatsapp on another smartphone simply by reading the confirmation code that is received via SMS upon first access. If a friend or someone close to us who knows our phone number install Whatsapp from scratch and indicates to register it with our number, he must confirm his identity by entering a code that arrives via SMS to the number indicated. If this person can read our SMS, he can then confirm on his smartphone access to our Whatsapp account. The SMS app is therefore essential to protect.

7) Protect the Whatsapp backup account

Whatsapp saves chats and conversations daily on Google Drive if you use an Android smartphone and on iCloud if you use an iPhone. It goes without saying that if anyone can access our Google Drive or iCloud account can have access to chat backups passed on Whatsapp and, therefore, extract all the data he wants (although he will still need to work on it as Whatsapp backups are encrypted).

8) Attention to how to use Whatsapp from website

Using Whatsapp via the website is very convenient to be able to chat on Whatsapp from the PC, but it is also the worst vulnerability of this application. The trick to spy on another person’s Whatsapp from the website is to take a moment his unlocked cell phone (for example of a friend who came to visit us at home), open the Whatsapp web page on the PC and enter by scanning the QR code with the smartphone of the person to check. Until this person notices that he has a Whatsapp web session open (now whenever Whatsapp web is active, a notification appears on the phone) or until this person opens Whatsapp himself from his PC, it becomes possible to spy every conversation and future chat without getting caught.

That of Whatsapp web can also be a problem in case you use another PC that is not ours or that we do not just use us by leaving without disconnecting. To protect yourself from these risks, never lose sight of your phone, make sure you have a screen lock and if you use Whatsapp Web, do it only from your personal PC which we know no one else can use. In case you use another computer, always make sure to log out of the website. Obviously, keep an eye on and never prevent the appearance of persistent notification that appears every time you use Whatsapp web with your account.

READ ALSO: Spy Whatsapp messages of another with Whatscan on Android and iPhone

9) Restrict access to the profile image

The main contribution to the growth of WhatsApp has always been the fact that you can send a message to anyone having the phone number. The downside of this feature is that the profile image becomes visible to anyone and could even become a facilitator, for someone we don’t know, in attempts to clone or disguise ourselves with our profile. Better than, in the settings> account> privacy, to avoid that the profile image is visible to everyone.

10) Hide the photos received and sent on the Whatsapp chat from the Gallery

The app in the Gallery on the phone also displays the images received in Whatsapp that, more often than not, can be “not appropriate”.
Fortunately, videos and photos sent and received in WhatsApp can be easily hidden from the gallery with a trick as explained in the guide on how to hide Whatsapp photos and videos from the Gallery.

11) Don’t fall into scams and fake news that run on Whatsapp

Being so popular, Whatsapp has become an easy distribution channel for scams and false alarms.
You can then receive messages with special offers and links that only lead to installing malware on your phone.
We talked about this type of scams in the article about messages you wouldn’t believe like that of Whatsapp for a fee.

12) Archive chats to hide

A light and practical system to prevent those who take the phone from reading the most private conversations is to store the chats on Whatsapp.
Select a conversation and press the button at the top of the archive to make it disappear from the main list and make it go to the archived chats. To find archived and hidden conversations, scroll down the chat list until it ends.

13) Deactivate the Whatsapp account on a lost phone or on the stolen smartphone

To make sure that Whatsapp is disabled in a stolen or lost smartphone, you have to go and deactivate the SIM inserted in that phone.

14) Do not use Whatsapp on another phone

This advice is trivial, but it’s still good to say that Whatsapp should always and only be used on your phone, not on others. Therefore, if we do not have our smartphone because it is forgotten or lost, it is never advisable to ask to access your Whatsapp from another’s phone.

15) Hide the last Whatsapp access

Although this has little to do with the security of the Whatsapp account, the fact remains that hiding the latest Whatsapp access from the Privacy settings deters any stalkers and prevents friends and acquaintances from controlling our online activities. It is good to know that WhatsApp does not allow us to know the online activities of others if we do not allow them to see our last access, but in the end, it matters little.

READ ALSO: Privacy Whatsapp: hide read messages and last access

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