Zak Doffman, founder of the digital security company Digital Barriers, warned about the use of the WhatsApp messaging application to scam users and made three essential recommendations to protect your mobile device from these attacks .
In Colombia, in 2019 the modality of theft by WhatsApp known as ‘social engineering’ registered 60% of the main forms of fraud, according to a cybersecurity report by the Police and the Colombian Chamber of Informatics.
Doffman explained in his own article, published in the magazine ‘Forbes’, that this modality consists of the ‘ hackers ‘ sending a short code by text message to users, from the account of an acquaintance or friend (account that had been previously kidnapped with this same modality), and trick them into sharing it.
If the SMS code is shared, the account is hijacked and recovery can take a long time, as attackers delay the process through confusing settings.
This application configuration that, Doffman considers, should be mandatory for the use of WhatsApp, is like a second filter when registering the account on any device .
Doffman also warns, through experts such as Joel Wallenstrom (CEO of Wickr) and Jake Moore (of Eset), that “ automatically saving WhatsApp photos is like leaving the door of your house open ; it carries a level of risk that is not a necessity and could damage your phone. ”
Not having control over what is downloaded, and what is not, is a mistake because files that “hide malicious code, run ‘malware’ (malicious software) or block your device or applications ” could be downloaded automatically .
The information that WhatsApp shows to other users , such as the time you were last connected and your profile picture, should be restricted so that not everyone can access it .
Doffman explains that it is data that can be used in the form of ‘ social engineering ‘, for example, to deceive your contacts. The scope of this information is changed in ‘ Settings’ (obviously, from WhatsApp) – ‘Account’ and then the option called ‘Privacy’ .
In this option you will find various data that you can configure so that only your contacts, or no person, access this information. Finally, the expert clarified that, although “WhatsApp is not as secure as Signal and Wickr”, it has tools that can protect the account from any malicious attack.
It is in the hands of the users to make the application much more secure .