WhatsApp scams are once again on the rise. Attackers can now steal your phone number and assign it to a new SIM card, giving them complete access to your WhatsApp account, thanks to a new SIM swapping method. This method is not without difficulties, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a critical security measure that adds an extra layer of security to your WhatsApp account. However, in such cases, 2FA may not be sufficient because hackers can easily prevent 2FA security if they have access to your phone number.
This is because WhatsApp allows you to recover your 6 digit 2FA PIN using your phone number if you can’t remember it. Scammers, on the other hand, can easily reset your 2FA PIN by using your phone number as a recovery method if they have access to your phone number.
This is why, with the rise of SIM swap scams, you should never include your phone number in your emails as a recovery method for 2FA. Authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator, Authy, and 1Password should be used instead. Instead of text messages, these apps allow you to receive authentication codes from a secure app.
This way, anyone with your phone number will be unable to access your authentication codes.
It is very simple to use these authenticator apps. The Google Authenticator, for example, is a free app that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and allows you to set up verification codes outside of text messages.
To get started, simply download the app, and it will walk you through some simple and straightforward steps to set up a 2FA authentication code. These secure codes will work not only for WhatsApp but also for a number of other apps and services.