In the UAE, the rise in unfamiliar numbers contacting people on WhatsApp has raised concerns. These messages might seem harmless, but they could be scams or hacks. The Dubai Digital Authority recently issued a warning, emphasizing the need for caution. So, what should you do if your WhatsApp account falls victim to hacking in the UAE? The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) has provided a clear set of guidelines to help online users navigate this challenging situation.
Step 1: Inform WhatsApp Immediately
The TDRA advises immediate action. If your account is hacked, send an email to WhatsApp’s technical support at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, use the subject line “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” and include your phone number in the format +9715xxxxxxxx.
Step 2: Retry Reinstallation
Try removing and reinstalling WhatsApp at different times of the day. Persistence is key here; retry the reinstallation process daily until you regain control of your account.
Step 3: Inform Friends and Family
Spread the word among your friends and relatives. Inform them about the hacking incident and urge them not to respond to any messages originating from your number on WhatsApp. Awareness among your contacts can prevent further complications.
How to Safeguard Your WhatsApp Account: Simple Tips
WhatsApp, on its official help center (faq.whatsapp.com), has shared practical steps to enhance your account security. Here’s what you can do:
1. Protect Your Verification Code
Never share the six-digit registration code received via SMS with anyone. This code is your gateway to the app; keep it confidential to prevent unauthorized access.
2. Enable Two-Step Verification
Enhance your security by enabling two-step verification. Access this feature through Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification. Create a unique six-digit PIN code for an added layer of protection.
3. Control Your Profile Photo Visibility
Manage who can view your profile photo. Head to ‘Settings’ > ‘Privacy’. Under the Profile Photo section, you can change the visibility settings to ‘My contacts’ or customize your audience. Limiting access to your photo safeguards your identity.
4. Exercise Caution in Financial Transactions
Stay vigilant when people request money via WhatsApp. Scammers often target users with financial requests. Verify the identity of the person and double-check the authenticity of the request before proceeding.
5. Regularly Review Linked Devices
Keep an eye on your linked devices. Navigate to WhatsApp Settings > Linked Devices to review all connected devices. If you find any suspicious activity, immediately log out the device to prevent unauthorized access.
6. Beware of Phishing Emails
Exercise caution with emails asking you to reset your two-step verification PIN or registration code. Avoid clicking on any links in such emails, as they could be phishing attempts to gain unauthorized access to your WhatsApp account.
Stay Safe, Stay Secure
In the digital age, our safety online is paramount. By following these simple steps and staying informed, you can protect your WhatsApp account from potential hacks. Remember, awareness and vigilance are your best allies in the online world. Stay safe, stay secure!