Despite WhatsApp’s secure end-to-end encryption and two-step verification process, it is possible for hackers to worm their way into your account and extract personal data.
Hackers only need a phone number associated with a WhatsApp account to dupe users into a variety of scams including sharing their verification codes to gain complete access to an account, impersonating a contact, links to malicious software, phishing attempts and more.
However, there are certain steps you can take to secure your account in case you’ve fallen victim to a hacking attempt. A couple of days back, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued advice via Twitter on how to deal with a compromised WhatsApp account.
📱🔓ماذا تفعل إذا تم اختراق #الواتساب ؟What do you do if your WhatsApp account hacked?#هيئة_تنظيم_الاتصالات #aeCERT pic.twitter.com/DZ7r9NqN5VJune 17, 2018
Remove WhatsApp and reinstall at different times of the day
Deleting and reinstalling WhatsApp application will re-register your account with a fresh verification code and automatically log you out from any open sessions on other devices.
Notify your close contacts and urging them to ignore unusual messages
It is important to alert your family and friends of your hacked account and ask them to be wary of conspicuous messages from your number.
Email WhatsApp support to deactivate your account
In order to make sure no one uses your WhatsApp account you can deactivate your account by sending an email to WhatsApp support at email@example.com with the phrase “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” in the body.
Upon successful deactivation you have 30 days to reactivate your account before it gets deleted completely.
Reinstalling WhatsApp every day
As tedious as this sounds, it’s one of the best ways to mitigate the possibility of unauthorized sessions of your WhatsApp account. And always remember to enable two-step verification under the settings menu with each install.