Messaging hacks soar during this busy time of year, making it important to stay alert.
The holidays are a busy time of year for catching up with friends and family. From shopping for gifts to preparing festive meals, you probably have a ton on your to-do list. However, during this joyous time of year, scammers and spammers are also in hyper-drive. With all the online shopping and people you’re catching up with, you may not even realize how much personal info you’re casually sharing through personal messaging.
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6 tips to avoid texting hacks this holiday
By Cemile Kavountzis, for WhatsApp
Here are easy tips for staying cybersafe on your mobile devices this holiday season.
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Use an encrypted messaging platform
You may be reaching out to friends and family far and wide to wish them happy holidays and sharing travel details. What you don’t want is hackers intercepting those messages and grabbing personal info, such as your phone number, identity and account details.
To protect your messages, WhatsApp is one of the world’s most used messaging app and features end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption securely delivers whatever you’re sending so that only you and the recipient can view it and no one in between — not even WhatsApp.
Joy to the world.
WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users in more than 180 countries
Keep group chats private
Along with one-on-one conversations, WhatsApp makes it easy to set up group chats, which are great for organizing and managing events. Whether you’re keeping guests updated on a tree-trimming party or figuring out who’s paying of Aunt Joy’s sweater, it’s an easy way to share info quickly and securely. If you’re sharing personal info like card details with friends or someone you trust when shopping for gifts, WhatsApp protects your personal messages and even enables you to send disappearing messages for added privacy.
WhatsApp recently added another privacy feature for users, which allows one to leave a group chat silently. When you leave a group chat, only the admin will get a message, not the entire group, and you’ll also have the option to archive the chat group.
The more, the merrier! When you’re planning reunions with friends and family, you can create a safe space with a WhatsApp group of up to 256 participants. These secure group chats mean everyone can discuss their plans freely and securely.
Send your holiday photos securely and safely
From pics of your kids playing in the snow to your pup dressed up in holiday garb, it’s prime time for sharing photos and videos with the people you care about. Send your images and other media with end-to-end encryption to make sure they are secure.
If you’re sending anything you only want a viewer to see temporarily, WhatsApp has a View Once feature. The platform recently added another layer of privacy which blocks taking screenshots of anything you send this way.
Save paper, send a video securely.
You singing a holiday song or sending a wish is thoughtful and cheerful. For a secure way to send your meaningful messages, WhatsApp protects whatever you send from your phone to your loved ones.
Be aware of ‘stranger danger’
When a text message pops up from a number you don’t recognize, proceed with caution. Some red flags for scams are misspellings, links or requests for payment. Another scam, especially prevalent during the holiday season, is bad actors posing as delivery companies.
As a general rule, if anything about the message seems suspicious or unexpected, never open a link from someone you don’t know and always double-check with the sender. It’s important to make sure they haven’t been hacked before you open a random link.
Another benefit of WhatsApp is being able to stop unwanted messages and block and report issues.
Back up your chat history more securely
Everyone gets a bit nostalgic during the holidays. You may find yourself scrolling up through old threads from someone you miss or swiping through photos. In modern life, your chat history is a record of your important relationships.
They can choose a password they make up or an encryption key. With end-to-end encrypted for your backups, you’re adding the same layer of protection to your backups as you have when sending messages and chatting over WhatsApp in real time.
When you back up your chat history, WhatsApp has an added layer of security allowing users to use end-to-end encryption when using their iCloud or Google Drive.
Choose how you share your location and status updates
Location sharing and status updates are ways to feel connected with loved ones, but you do want to be mindful of who you share your whereabouts with. You may not want to broadcast publicly when you’ll be out of town on vacation for safety reasons.
During the holidays, when you may be traveling or moving around more, WhatsApp lets you control who sees your online status and location.
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