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How To Use WhatsApp Two-factor Authentication To Secure Your Phone As NCC Recommended

The popular messaging app, WhatsApp, has increasingly become a prime target of Internet fraudsters and scammers, making many fall victims to account takeover by hackers, especially in Nigeria.

Meta increases, Two-factor Authentication

By  Ezeja Victor

The popular messaging app, WhatsApp, has increasingly become a prime target of Internet fraudsters and scammers, making many fall victims to account takeover by hackers, especially in Nigeria.

This has consequently led the Meta-owned social network firm to create the “Two-factor Authentication” (2FA) feature which prevents scammers and hackers, who are always looking for ways to gain unauthorized access to users’ accounts.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in its 2020 Internet Crime Report ranked Nigeria 16th among countries most affected by Internet crime in the world in 2020.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in a statement in December 2022, while referencing a report on WhatsApp data breach, which it said has exposed the information of millions of users worldwide including Nigerians, disclosed that more than 9 million WhatsApp users in Nigeria and nearly 500 million WhatsApp users globally are said to be exposed to hackers who trade users’ data in the dark web.

Due to the reliable status of this WhatsApp security feature (2FA), the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) recently recommended it to Nigerians to prevent scammers from having access to their accounts.

The NCC tech team described this WhatsApp security feature as an identity and access management security method that requires two forms of identification to access resources and data.

NCC explained the benefits of such WhatsApp security feature in enabling people, including those engaged in businesses, the opportunity to monitor and safeguard their most valuable information contained their accounts as it prevents criminals from accessing, stealing or destroying their internal records.

“In the world of messaging apps, one of the most popular and recognizable is WhatsApp. WhatsApp is 100 per cent free to use, has a great mobile app, and supports audio and video calls.

Whether you rely on WhatsApp for all your messaging needs or just use it from time to time, it is recommended to set it up with two-factor authentication (2FA).

With this enabled, you will need to enter a custom PIN every time you log in to WhatsApp from a new device, adding an extra layer of security to your account,” NCC stated.

Continuing, the team said: “2FA gives businesses or people the ability to monitor and help safeguard their most vulnerable information and networks.

The 2FA is important because it prevents cybercriminals from stealing, destroying, or accessing your internal data records for their own use.”

To use this WhatsApp 2FA security feature, here are the steps to take:
Open WhatsApp,
Tap Settings,
Tap Account,
Tap Two-Step Verification,
Tap Enable,
Enter the Six-Digit PIN you wish to use,
Tap Next, then enter it a second time to confirm it,
Tap Next, Add an email address for extra security (this step is optional but it is an extra way to retrieve your account if you forget your Pin) and then Tap Next.

For those concerned that their PIN might have been compromised or is easy to guess, they can change their WhatsApp PIN or email address by tapping settings;

Two-Step Verification; tap Change PIN or Change Email Address; Enter a new PIN or email address; and then tap ‘next’ to effect the necessary changes.

With this method, users can be rest assured that their WhatsApp accounts are secured from hacking and all forms of unauthorized access as the App frequently requests for the PIN to be entered for access by the users.

Admin Approval of New Participants:

To further boost security of WhatsApp users, the Meta-owned service recently came up with another feature which allows Admins of WhatsApp group chats to approve new users entry the group.

The new security feature which is available on the latest version of WhatsApp for iOS and Android devices, makes it easy for group admins to manage participants in a group chat.

It works in such a way that when turned on, users will see a message in the group chat suggesting that new participants will have to seek approval from the admin before they are able to join the group even if they have a group invite link.

This option is good security wise because it enables admins to control who joins a WhatsApp group chat with large of participants.

To find the new setting, simply head over to the group setting and you will find an option called ‘Approve New Participants’.

Turn it on and you are good to go.

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