Home / Technology / News /  Check these setting to keep your WhatsApp account secure

Many of us use WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging app, for connecting with family or friends or at work every day. With the amount of sensitive information shared as part of personal and work conversations, it is important to ensure that critical security settings and practices are in place.

Here are some of the settings and practices you have to follow to help secure your WhatsApp account.

Update your app

As a digital security rule of thumb, keep all the apps you use up-to-date with their latest versions. This practice is important because developers often find bugs and errors in the application's code that hackers could exploit to access your device. The fixes or patches for these bugs and exploits are usually made available via regular app updates. Hence, keeping your apps updated will ensure that you have the latest patches and the latest features available to users.

Set up Two-step verification

WhatsApp has its version of two-factor authentication (2FA) built into the app to ensure that others cannot take over your WhatsApp account without the code.

To enable the Two-step verification option, go to the settings menu of your WhatsApp application, then select 'Account' and next select 'Two-step Verification'. Select 'Enable', and you will have to enter a six-digit PIN and an email address following that. Once you complete these steps, Two-step verification will be active in your account.

WhatsApp will periodically ask you to enter the six-digit PIN before using the app to ensure that you don't forget the PIN. In case you forget the PIN, WhatsApp will use the email address you provided to reset the PIN.

Enable biometric lock

Most smartphones today have a fingerprint-based or Face-ID biometric lock. WhatsApp allows you to use this biometric to restrict access to the WhatsApp application.

To enable the biometric lock option, go to the settings menu of your WhatsApp application, then select 'Account' and next select 'Privacy'. Now, choose 'Fingerprint lock' on Android devices or 'Screen lock' on an iOS device from the menu. On the next screen, you can select the biometric lock you want to use and the app's frequency to request you to authenticate with the biometric ID.

Once these selections are made, your biometric lock for WhatsApp will be active. The next time anyone tries to access your WhatsApp application, they will not have access without your biometric ID.

Check your WhatsApp chat backup status

WhatsApp secures your chat conversations using end-to-end encryption, which you can verify from the app, but this encryption does not apply to your chat backups. These chat backups uploaded to Google Drive on Android devices and iCloud on iOS devices are not encrypted, and miscreants or hackers gaining access to your cloud service where these chats are stored can access these WhatsApp messages. Hence, for keeping your account more secure, you should disable the chat backup feature for now or until WhatsApp provides the backup encryption feature.

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