Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai:  With fraudsters getting more sophisticated, there’s no denying that WhatsApp accounts can get hacked and even users in UAE are not a hundred per cent foolproof.

Police and security experts have warned that scammers are still doing the rounds to hijack people’s accounts. They’re tricking people into opening a simple message, clicking a malicious file or link in order to snoop into private conversations and photos, and steal contacts, passwords and card numbers.

There’s even a dangerous spy software that can secretly take selfies and record audio and video.

And so far, some of these malicious schemes have succeeded, with some people in UAE reporting to authorities that hackers have indeed taken over their accounts.

If you happen to be one of the victims of these fraudsters, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself.

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) posted a notice in social media on Sunday, advising residents what to do in case their accounts get hacked.

Remove the app

In its official Twitter account, the TRA said users should remove and reinstall the instant messaging app in different times of the day. 

Users are also advised to alert their contacts that their accounts have been compromised.

“Inform relatives and friends about the hacking and urge them not to respond to any messages coming from your number on WhatsApp,” the TRA said.

Send the following text to WhatsApp tech support

Users can also opt to have their account deactivated and this can be done by sending an email to WhatsApp’s technical support team (Support@whatsapp.com). 

In the email , mention the following text: “Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account” and provide your phone number in the following format : +9715xxxxxx.

Retry reinstalling WhatsApp everyday

This might be time-consuming to do, but if you think a hacker is still snooping on you, remove and reinstall WhatsApp everyday.

Here’s how to reinstall WhatsApp

1. Touch and hold the WhatsApp icon on the home screen until the icons start to wiggle.
2. Tap the x in the corner of the WhatsApp icon.
3. Tap “delete” to remove the application and all of its data.
4. Press the home button.
5. Re-download WhatsApp from the app store.