How not to be spied on Whatsapp

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
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Today we talk about how not to be spied on Whatsapp. Are you afraid every now and then that someone might 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 learn more and want to avoid any reasonable doubts about the privacy of your communications, take five minutes of free time and read this article.



I will provide you with the right advice on how not to be spied on Whatsapp and I'll suggest some common sense practices you can implement to make your chat less appealing to others. I 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 I explained to you in my tutorial on how to use WhatsApp on a PC, services like Web WhatsApp and applications such as the official client WhatsApp for Windows and MacOS they allow you to use WhatsApp on your computer by "duplicating" the app installed on your smartphone.


This means that you can only access your chats if the phone is connected to the Internet and if the official WhatsApp or WhatsApp Web client has been paired with the smartphone by scanning a QR code. This is an extremely affordable solution, works well, but comes with a small privacy risk: it works even if your smartphone and computer 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 them your smartphone for a few seconds by logging into 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 easy 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.

By 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 have not found anything strange in the WhatsApp web sessions but you suspect that someone is spying on your communications, try to check for spy apps on your smartphone.


Spy apps, as the name suggests, they are hidden applications on the smartphone and allow you to record all the activities carried out on the smartphone: typed texts, started apps, calls phone numbers and so on.


Some are indeed very difficult to detect while they are 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 (the gear icon on the main screen or in the app menu with links to all the apps installed on the smartphone) and check for applications with administration permissions, i.e. permissions that allow them to control all activities performed on the device.

Then select the items Security and device administrators and check if the apps listed on the screen are apps you don't know and might be spying on you. If there are any app names you don't know that 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 check mark from its icon and uninstalling them. To uninstall them, go to Settings> Android App, select it from the list of apps installed on your device and click the button Uninstall.

From the same screen you can also check if there are "suspicious" applications that do not have administrator permissions but are still installed on your smartphone: if you find any, you can remove them by following the instructions I have just given you (or by going to read my tutorial on how to uninstall Android apps).


Other clues that may reveal the presence of an app on the phone are excessive battery drain it's a overheating of the same.

Clearly, these are two very “generic” symptoms: they could also be caused by apps that have nothing to do with the phone's location activities, but it's best to investigate.

To do this, I 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 my tutorial on how to save Android battery.


How to tell if WhatsApp is being spied -  iOS

iOS makes installing apps quite simple (unless your phone has been jailbroken, in which case the system is more "open" and allows for many easier apps to install) but that doesn't mean it's not immune.

To check for suspicious apps on your “melaphone”, open the menu Settings (the gear icon on the main screen) and go up 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 button Delete Whatsapp to remove it.

If you are using an iOS version prior to 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 to not get spied on Whatsapp and to find potential apps on the iPhone is to check the list of profiles custom installed on your system. Custom profiles are used for advanced applications, such as those using VPN, to have more freedom of action within iOS.

Then go to Settings menu> General> Profile and Device Management and check if any “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 a jailbroken iPhone, I suggest you open the browser (Safari) and try to connect to the following addresses: localhost:8888 e localhost: 4444. These are two addresses used by some apps for remote monitoring of mobile phones, through which the 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 the number *12345 . If after typing one of these codes you find yourself in front of a login screen or a real control panel, it means that a spy app is installed on your iPhone.

Do not leave the phone unattended: I know, it's trivial, but it is in these platitudes that you often lack tact. 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 banal but fundamental proposal. If you set a secure PIN on your smartphone (PIN, not pattern, 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 get it on iOS go up Settings> Tap ID & Code> Change Code (or Add Code).

How not to be spied on Whatsapp in short ...

  1. We always use common sense! As in real life, let us never trust unknown people who send us messages and business cards on the web version of WhatsApp. If we receive one, do not open it: if necessary, we first try to contact the sender via chat to make sure of his actual identity.
  2. Remember to have continuously updated the antivirus on our computer: any infected files sent to us as message attachments on WhatsApp Web will be identified and deleted if deemed dangerous.
  3. 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 messages. The app doesn't have an answering machine. By opening the link we could end up on malicious sites and be invaded by viruses of any kind.
  4. Let us 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 apps from remote.
  5. We continuously update WhatsApp to the latest version: with each upgrade, in fact, the developers not only correct any malfunctions of the graphical interface, but also security flaws and add useful functions to better protect our privacy.

Further Reading:

  • Does the phone listen to us? How to prevent the phone from listening
  • How to make WhatsApp calls using the Google Assistant
  • How to spy on WhatsApp, all methods
  • How to hide the WhatsApp profile photo from a contact without blocking it
  • How to transfer WhatsApp from Android to iPhone

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