WhatsApp messenger is the personal messaging device that has gradually replaced calls, texts and even visits for several people. The instant messaging solution, voice and video calls makes it very communicate with loved ones across seas and borders. But it becomes a pain when you discover that your personal messenger is no longer personal. In the new few minutes, you will see how you can recover a hacked WhatsApp account.
Before you dive into how to recover a hacked WhatsApp account, we should point out that there are two categories of people here. Those WhatsApp users who never set up the two-factor authentication and so do not have the six-digit WhatsApp activation code. The second category are those who did set it up, but then mistakenly divulged it to fraudsters only to realise later that their account had been hacked.
There are steps for both sets of users to recover a hacked WhatsApp account but here’s a quick warning. Fraudsters will use any and every means to get sensitive details like your six-digit WhatsApp activation code or an OTP sent to your mobile line. No matter the reason given, when an OTP that you did not request is sent to your device, delete it immediately and do not divulge to anyone.
If the fraudster is accessing your account from another device, they cannot read past WhatsApp messages because of the end-to-end encryption but they can initiate new chats. Beyond stealing sensitive information while chatting with your contacts, fraudsters could also take it a step further to defraud your friends and acquaintances in your name.
How can I recover a hacked WhatsApp account?
Take these steps as soon as you discover that someone other than you is using your WhatsApp account. This happens when your contacts start receiving WhatsApp messages from you that you did not send, you see status updates and posts in WhatsApp groups that you did not create. This does not apply to cases of stolen or lost phones.
It is possible that someone else might be using your decide from a desktop or WhatsApp Web that you had earlier connected to. You have to undo this first to be sure you are not dealing with a case of hackers.
- Open your WhatsApp > Tap the three vertical dots at the top right beside the search bar > Tap on WhatsApp web > Log out of all devices
If you find out that no device is linked and you still continue to experience same thing, then follow the steps below to recover a hacked WhatsApp account.
- Log out of your WhatsApp messenger and login again using your phone number
- A six-digit code will be sent to your phone number via sms. Enter the code.
- This logs you into your account immediately, and automatically logs out the hacker.
- If you are asked to provide a two-step verification code, even though you did not set up one, it means the individual using your account must have activated a two-step verification code. Since you do not have the code, it means you have to wait 7 days again before you can sign in without the two-step verification code.
- Remember that the hacker had been logged out immediately you were logged in with the 6-digit SMS code? So no worries. The hacker cannot continue any chat with your contacts and they cannot even get access to your WhatsApp account during this period.
Phone lost or stolen, How do I recover WhatsApp account?
If your phone gets missing, recovering your WhatsApp account takes completely different steps. In this case, you do not have access to your sim card and so cannot just log in.
- The first thing you should do is to inform everyone including WhatsApp. If people are aware that you no longer have control over your account, they will be prepared for any fraudulent chats.
- Now, you should send a mail to Whatsapp at email@example.com. You can state the details of the incident to the mail, but make sure you add “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” in the subject and text body and also provide the mobile number registered with the WhatsApp account.
- Please ensure that you are sending this mail from the email address registered in your two-factor authentication process. If you did not do the two-factor authentication before your phone got lost or was stolen, then you can use any of your email addresses.
Once the account has been successfully deactivated, the thieves will no longer be able to use it to chat with your contacts. Now you have 30 days to recover your account if you still want to be able to access all your saved chats and media backed up in the cloud. It you delay this beyond 30 days, you will lose access to all that data.
How do I secure my WhatsApp messenger account?
Since you never know what could go wrong, it is advisable that you set up your two-step verification on your WhatsApp account and provide an email address in case you forget your PIN. If you receive an email to reset the two-step verification PIN or registration code but did not request this, don't click on the link. Someone could be attempting to access your phone number on WhatsApp.
If you received a WhatsApp verification code via sms without requesting one, it means that someone is trying to log into your WhatsApp account intentionally or by error. Delete the message right away and do not give the code out to anyone.
Beware of the calls that ask you to share your personal information or ask you to install certain apps.
Never share your PIN or codes with anyone. As long as the person does not get access to your codes, your WhatsApp account is safe.
Set up a device lock code for your Android phone and be careful of who you give physical access to your phone as they can use your WhatsApp without your permission.