UAE: What to do if your WhatsApp account is hacked

Web report/Dubai
Filed on July 27, 2021
Photo: Reuters

The social media app is one of the most widely used chatting platforms in the UAE and worldwide.

The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) in the UAE has issued tips for residents about what to do if their WhatsApp account is hacked.

WhatsApp is one of the most widely used chatting platforms in the UAE and worldwide. Scammers, therefore, often try to take advantage of its popularity to hack into accounts and obtain sensitive information.

The authority advised residents to immediately send an email to WhatsApp’s technical support team in case they find themselves in such a situation. Hacking victims can email and also mention “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account”.

Residents have also been asked provide their mobile in the following format +9715xxxxxxxx to the WhatsApp support team.

It advised residents to remove the app and reinstall it at different times of the day. It also recommended reinstalling the app every day.

As reported by Khaleej Times recently, WhatsApp phishing, in general, has been on the rise ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began.


>> UAE alert: Beware of this WhatsApp scam

Cybersecurity experts said linking messaging apps with social media accounts means that the latter can also be used for phishing attacks.

“For example, WhatsApp is owned and can be linked with Facebook so an account breach of one service, could potentially compromise the other. A general best practice is to use two-factor authentication and set different passwords for each account, using a trusted strong-password generation tool to manage your passwords,” said Haider Pasha, chief security officer at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA).

The UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority asked WhatsApp users in the country to inform relatives and friends if they've been hacked and urge them not to respond to any messages sent from your WhatsApp account until it is restored.

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