Popular messaging app WhatsApp says it has been hacked. They confirmed that hackers were planting spyware – made by an Israeli company – on consumers’ mobile phones and digital devices – allowing them to remotely monitor someone’s mobile calls or text messages.
The question is: what can you do, how to prevent it?
WhatsApp advised its nearly 1.5 billion subscribers to update their app as soon as possible. Note that you have to do the update manually – called Manually. Because that red dot at the head of the Appstore should not leave it, since the app has gone under the control of the hacker.
What else is there to do?
One of the most important reasons for the popularity of services on the Internet like WhatsApp was its security. That is, whose account – no one but him can enter it in any way, will not know what he is saying, what messages he is exchanging – his privacy will remain intact. But now it turns out, this spyware – said to be made in Israel – is capable of breaching those security walls as well, capable of surveillance.
This spyware gets into your phone on the back of the call – even if you don’t answer the call, it will automatically install on your phone. You won’t even see that call, because hackers have taken control of the app.
Consider changing backup settings
If you or a friend backup your WhatsApp conversations to iCloud or Google Drive – there’s a problem. It’s not encrypted, so privacy protection won’t work.
So if you want to maintain privacy, you can disable backup. You can do this from the chat backup option by going to your settings.
Two-factor authentication on mobile or digital devices is a great way to keep any information safe and secure. This provides an additional layer of security to your online account, preventing access to your online account by anyone other than yourself. You can also change this by going to settings.
Go to Privacy and see all options
Many apps, including WhatsApp, have various security and privacy protections. You can see everything if you go to Settings>Account>Privacy. From there you can control who can see your profile photo, or where you’ve been or are. You can switch off the ‘read receipt’ check mark to prove that you have read someone’s message.
Do you have cause for concern?
If you are a lawyer, activist, human rights worker or journalist – it matters. If you’re nothing like that, maybe there’s not much to worry about.