WhatsApp Hijacking! Serious issue could lead to takeover of your account

A serious WhatsApp issue could lead to someone else hijacking your WhatsApp account. Know how to fix it.

| Updated on: Feb 22 2023, 16:58 IST
In Pics: Send the best quality WhatsApp photos on iPhone, Android now; Know how
1/5 Why does WhatsApp compress pictures while sharing it? This happens because in the Settings of the application the photo upload quality is set on auto by default, and therefore, the quality of the image while sharing depends on several factors like the internet connection, size of the image, and more. The app therefore, looks to downsize the image, which affects its quality. (PTI)
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2/5 How to send the best quality photo on WhatsApp: Open WhatsApp on your iPhone or Android device and click on the three dots to go to WhatsApp Settings. From Settings you will have to select Storage and Data. After that you will have to tap on the Photo upload quality and select the Best Quality option and then click on Ok. (REUTERS)
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3/5 Meanwhile, you can also check the steps to send photos and videos on WhatsApp here: Go to WhatsApp and open an individual or group chat where you want to send the photo or video. Click on the Attach icon, then follow the steps mentioned below: (PTI)
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4/5 On an Android device, click on the gallery to select an existing photo or video from your phone. Tap and hold to select multiple images. You can also add captions to photos and videos. Swipe between photos to add captions to each one and finally click on the send icon. (REUTERS)
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5/5 While iPhone users will have to click on the plus icon and then select Photo and Video Library to select a photo or video from your iPhone's photos or albums. After selecting a photo or video, tap Add at the bottom left to select multiple photos or videos at once. (Pixabay)
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Protect your WhatsApp account against hijacking this way. (Pixabay)

A serious WhatsApp security issue could make your account susceptible to takeover by someone else. WhatsApp has become the leading messaging app worldwide, with billions of users. It has replaced the use of mundane SMS and multimedia messages for sending images. Although your WhatsApp messages are secured by end-to-end encryption, an old WhatsApp security issue, which hasn't been patched yet, could result in your account being taken over by someone else.

Unlike other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp does not require a user ID and a password to login. Instead, it is tied to your phone number. This is where the problem arises. When you switch to a new phone number, your old one gets disconnected and is reissued to someone else. However, if you still haven't switched your WhatsApp account to your new number, your WhatsApp account could be left for takeover by the person who gets your old number.

That means all of your messages and media will be received by someone you don't know, leaving your data exposed. What's shocking is this issue has been around for years yet there has been no fix from WhatsApp as of now. One such incident occurred with Vice cybersecurity reporter Joseph Cox back in 2020. He signed up to a new phone number and accidentally took over someone's WhatsApp account as it was still tied up to the same number.

Protect your WhatsApp account

Worrying about someone who could potentially hijack your WhatsApp account if you ever switch to a new number? There's a fix for this. One of the ways is to simply switch your WhatsApp account to a new number whenever you change your phone. Another is to sign up with 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) which requires a separate 6-digit PIN to login.

How to enable Two-factor Authentication on WhatsApp

Step 1:

Open WhatsApp and tap on Settings. 

Step 2:

Tap Account, Two-step verification and then tap Enable.

Step 3:

Enter a six-digit PIN of your choice and confirm it. 

Step 4:

Provide an email address you can access or tap Skip if you don’t want to add an email address. WhatsApp recommends adding an email address as this allows you to reset two-step verification and helps safeguard your account. 

Step 5:

Tap Next. Confirm the email address and tap Save or Done. 

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First Published Date: 22 Feb, 16:57 IST