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WhatsApp Hack: Learn How to Protect yourself from Potential Danger! -->

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WhatsApp Hack: Learn How to Protect yourself from Potential Danger!

WhatsApp Hack: Proofs That You May Be in Danger!

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world with over 2 billion active users. However, events have shown that the popularity of WhatsApp just like most other social media platforms does not immune it from a number of security flaws that could make it vulnerable to exploitation by hackers and malicious characters.  A few days ago an unconfirmed report emerged showing that nearly 500 million WhatsApp users’ mobile phone numbers were leaked in a global data breach on the platform by an anonymous online poster who put out the information for sale.  Making WhatsApp the latest major company to be alleged of a threat of a data breach.  WhatsApp in reaction says that there is no evidence to substantiate such the claim of the alleged breach.  Who is telling the truth in this matter? Are you really in danger or at risk of attack? What is the preventive measure to take to protect yourself? These and more you will learn from this article.

Image contain the contact of leaked whatsApp phone numbers of users
Source: Cybernews

An investigation by a research-based online publication Cybernews confirmed that all of the phone numbers were linked to WhatsApp users and that it was most likely that the claims of the online poster were true.  Thus, a claim the editor, Jurgita LapienytÄ—, later refuted in a Twitter post confirming there was no evidence WhatsApp had been hacked, but that didn’t mean that users weren’t still at risk. “The leak might be a scrape, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous for the affected users,” she said.

WhatsApp in a refuter through their spokesperson, however, denied any data breach saying there is no evidence of the purported breach. 

The claim written on Cybernews is based on unsubstantiated screenshots. There is no evidence of a ‘data leak’ from WhatsApp.

 Risk That User May Face

Phone numbers are often used in phishing scams, where scammers attempt to trick people into giving out their personal information, such as bank account numbers, passwords and credit card details by pretending to be from a legitimate business such as a bank, telephone or internet service provider.  For example, you may get a text message or call from these scammers who will claim to be from your bank and need you to verify your records which became necessary due to a technical error.  Another way they go about it is by requesting you to fill out a customer survey and may even offer a prize for participating.  Alternatively, the scammer may alert you for suspicious activity on your account and tell you to provide your detail as proof of your identity.

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Similarly, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) of Nigeria, the ICT policy implementing arm of the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has issued a safety advisory to its citizens claiming that out of the alleged 500 million contacts that 9 million were Nigerians while asking them to use the app with caution and to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

Following the alleged leak of nearly 500 million Whatsapp users’ mobile phone numbers globally which includes over 9 million contacts from Nigeria, there is an impending danger of threat actors using these data to carry out malicious activities, which may put users at great risk.

How to Protect Yourself

 The first question to ask is, even if this is true and my phone number is out there, what risk do I stand?   The truth is that since the data breach is nothing other than speculation, there is no way to know for sure if your phone was among and we want to categorically tell you that no matter how true the leak is that you are not at risk of anything other than what we have been used to.   Things like phishing attacks, unsolicited text messages and calls from scammers and advertisers alike.   They are not going to hack into your account and use your number to send your family and friend WhatsApp messages with your number as alleged in some quarters unless perhaps you give them the chance by being careless with your phone.  That being said, below are some extra precautionary measures you can take to further protect yourself.

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Ignore unsolicited messages and calls demanding some sensitive information such as your credit or debit card details, password, OTP etc.  You should have known by now that your bank and network providers will never ask you for such information

  1. Enable two-factor authentication on your WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps.
  2. Do not reveal personal and sensitive information on your profile and social media platforms.
  3. Stop posting your phone and bank account number in the comments of social media posts hoping to get one freebie or the other.
Other recommendations for you are;

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