Are you sometimes afraid that someone will enter your WhatsApp without permission and spy on all the conversations you have with your friends? You’re a little paranoid, let me tell you, but deep down you’re worried about things like security. As much as it may be, WhatsApp is the result of man’s work and as such, it is not perfect.
This means that it could have weaknesses or real security flaws that could allow any attacker to intercept other people’s communications. If you want to deepen the topic and want to avoid any reasonable doubt about the privacy of your communications, take five minutes of free time and read this article.
We will provide you with the right advice on how not to get spied on Whatsapp and we will suggest some common sense practices that you can implement to make your chat less attractive to others. We assure you that it is nothing particularly difficult, indeed, not even technical, there is little to understand.
How not to be spied on Whatsapp??? With Whatsapp Web, you are always in danger.
As we explained in our tutorial on how to use WhatsApp on a PC, services such as WhatsApp Web and applications such as the official WhatsApp client for Windows and macOS allow you to use WhatsApp on your computer by “duplicating” the app installed on the smartphone.
This means that you can access your chats only if the phone is connected to the Internet and if the official WhatsApp or WhatsApp Web client has been associated with the smartphone by scanning a QR code. This is an extremely convenient solution, it works well, but it has a small privacy risk: it works even if smartphones and computers are not connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
This means that potentially an attacker could access your conversations simply by convincing you to lend him your smartphone for a few seconds by accessing WhatsApp Web or the official WhatsApp client using a computer (or tablet) and scanning the QR code.
By checking this option, the smartphone remembers the association with the computer and allows subsequent access to WhatsApp Web and / or WhatsApp PC client without requiring a new scan of the QR code and without the computer being physically close to it.
How not to be spied on Whatsapp
Fortunately, there is a very simple way to verify unauthorized access to WhatsApp Web or the official WhatsApp PC client and possibly stop them. By accessing the WhatsApp settings on your smartphone, you can view the complete list of accesses made by WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp for PC and decide to close them instantly.
Interrupting them, all the devices connected to the smartphone will lose the authorization to access WhatsApp Web and WhatsApp for Windows / macOS and a new scan of the QR code will be requested (an operation that the spy will not be able to do because he no longer has the smartphone).
If you haven’t found anything strange in WhatsApp web sessions but you suspect that someone is spying on your communications, try checking for spy apps on your smartphone.
The spy apps, as the name suggests, are hidden applications on the smartphone and allow you to record all the activities performed on the smartphone: typed texts, started apps, phone numbers and so on.
Some are indeed very difficult to detect while acting in secret, but there are some clues that can betray their presence. Now I’m telling you what and how to find them on Android and iOS.
How to tell if WhatsApp is spied on – Android
If you are using an Android terminal, the first step you should take is to access the settings menu (the gear icon on the main screen or in the app menu with links to all the apps installed on your smartphone) and check for the presence of applications with authorization administration, or permissions that allow them to control all the activities performed on the device.
Then select the Security and Device Administrators items and check if the apps listed on the screen are apps that you do not know and that could spy on you. If there are app names that you don’t know and you want to say about their nature, do a simple Google search.
If you find some applications that have spyware for applications with administrative permissions, disable them immediately by removing the checkmark from its icon and uninstalling them. To uninstall them, go to Settings> Android Apps, select it from the list of apps installed on your device and click the Uninstall button.
From the same screen, you can also check if there are “suspicious” applications that have no administrator permissions but are still installed on your smartphone: if you find some, you can remove them by following the instructions we have just given you (or by reading our tutorial on how to uninstall Android apps).
Other clues that could reveal the presence of an app on the phone are excessive battery consumption and overheating.
Clearly, these are two very “generic” symptoms: they could also be caused by apps that have nothing to do with the location of the phone, but it is better to investigate.
To do this, we suggest you use the Wakelock Detector app which constantly monitors the status of your smartphone and lets you know which applications keep the processor “active” by overheating the device and leading to abnormal battery consumption. To learn more about how it works, check out our tutorial on how to save Android battery.
How to tell if WhatsApp is spied on – iOS
iOS makes installing apps fairly simple (unless the phone has undergone jailbreak, in which case the system is more “open” and allows for much simpler installation apps) but that doesn’t mean it’s not immune.
To check for suspicious apps on your “smartphone”, open the Settings menu (the gear icon on the main screen) and go to General> Free iPhone Space. After a few seconds of waiting, a list of all the apps installed on the device will be displayed: if you notice any “suspicious”, select it and click the Delete App
If you are using an iOS version earlier than 11, you can access the same menu by going to Settings> General> Device space and iCloud and clicking Manage space for the Device space field.
Another way not to be spied on Whatsapp and find potential apps on the iPhone is to check the list of custom profiles installed on your system. Custom profiles are used for advanced applications, such as those that use VPN, for greater freedom of action within iOS.
Then go to the Settings menu> General> Profile and Device Management and check if “suspicious” profiles are set on the iPhone. If you can’t find the custom profile menu, it means that no apps installed on your phone are currently using them.
To conclude, especially if you have an iPhone jailbreak, we suggest you open the browser (Safari) and try to connect to the following addresses: localhost: 8888 and localhost: 4444. These are two addresses used by some apps for remote monitoring of mobile phones, through which apps reveal their presence and allow you to adjust their settings.
Another “secret technique” that reveals the presence of some apps is to open the dialer and dial * 12345. If after typing one of these codes you are in front of a login screen or a real control panel, it means that an app light is installed on your iPhone.
Do not leave the phone unattended: we know, it is trivial, but it is in these trivia that you often miss the touch. However, it takes two minutes to install a spy app or to allow unauthorized access to WhatsApp Web / Desktop with a phone.
Set a secure PIN: another apparently trivial, but fundamental proposal. If you set a secure PIN on your smartphone (PIN, not sequence, which is much easier to guess at a glance), you will not be able to allow any attacker to unlock the device to install apps or access WhatsApp Web / Desktop. To set a secure PIN on Android, go to Settings> Security> Screen lock> PIN; to do this on iOS go to Settings> Touch ID and code> Change code (or Add code).
How not to be spied on Whatsapp in short…
- We always use common sense! As in real life, in no case do we trust unknown people who send us messages and business cards on the web version of WhatsApp. If we receive one, do not open it: possibly, we first try to get in touch with the sender via chat to make sure of his actual identity.
- Remember to have continuously updated the antivirus on our computer: any infected files sent to us as attachments of messages on WhatsApp Web will be identified and eliminated if deemed dangerous.
- Similarly to the precautions to be taken with phishing e-mails, when we use WhatsApp in the Web or mobile app variant, we avoid clicking on any “voicemail” buttons that appear in the messages. The app does not have an answering machine. By opening the link we could end up on malicious sites and be invaded by viruses of any nature.
- We constantly remember to activate the screen lock on the smartphone using a password or a PIN code: in this way, even if we leave the phone unprotected, we can make life more difficult for the pirate willing to take control of it to secretly install control app from remote.
- We continuously update WhatsApp to the latest version: at each upgrade, in fact, the developers correct not only any malfunctions of the graphic interface, but also security holes and add functions to what is useful to better protect our privacy.
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