Whatsapp
Although it is not as simple a technique as that of WhatsApp Web, it is also possible to spy on WhatsApp conversations through the backups that the app creates of our conversations. Image Credit: Pixabay

Abu Dhabi: A Saudi man was studying his legal options after he discovered that his wife, a teacher, had spied on his WhatsApp and received a copy of all conversations on his cell phone for nine months, Okaz reported.

The wife asked to settle some financial requirements between them before divorce.

The husband considered the wife’s behaviour to be espionage and an information crime. Nevertheless, he saw a friendly solution between them.

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The wife refused to speak to Okaz, and confirmed that she made her decision and did not want to publish any dirty laundry about the incident.

A cybersecurity trainer warned against using Wi-Fi networks with free access, which are widespread in airports, cafes and hotels, describing them as one of the gateways for cyber attacks.

Bushra Al Hout , a cyber awareness trainer and business development manager, explained that WhatsApp has attracted the attention of hackers, and the danger increases when using WhatsApp web to browse, because it is an access gateway for hackers.

She urged to know how to protect our data from unauthorised access by not using free digital networks and unsafe website icons, securing private accounts and not sharing them with others.

Legal advisor Khaled Abu Rashid said the wife’s monitoring of her husband’s WhatsApp messages is a full-fledged information crime, punishable by a one-year prison and a fine of SR500,000, according to Article 3 of the Cybercrime Law.

Abu Rashid added the Saudi cybercrime laws did not exclude any family members, as hacking into a mobile phone by a husband, wife, father or brother is an information crime regardless of family ties.

Abu Rashid warned couples against such actions, as they are a crime punishable by law, besides espionage is absolutely prohibited by Sharia.

WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp Web is one of the most used tools when spying on WhatsApp conversations. The simple fact of working through the browser, associated with a WhatsApp account, makes WhatsApp Web one of the most used ways to spy on WhatsApp chats. And it is enough to log into WhatsApp on a computer, to access all conversations, both current and previous, with all your messages and shared files.

Besides that, WhatsApp only sends a notification to the mobile when the login is done for the first time. So if the person who wants to spy on us removes that notification, we will not know if someone is reading our messages through the web version of the messaging app.

How to avoid it

To prevent them from spying on your WhatsApp through the web version, access the “WhatsApp Web” section of the application on your mobile, and check which devices you are signed in to. If you see a suspicious computer, you can tap on it to log out and remove access to your messages.

Through WhatsApp backups

Although it is not as simple a technique as that of WhatsApp Web, it is also possible to spy on WhatsApp conversations through the backups that the app creates of our conversations. For this, there are specific tools and software that allow decrypt backup packages and thus access its content.

How to avoid it

For some years now, WhatsApp backups have been stored on Google Drive. This adds an extra layer of security. In addition, in order to access the copies, the attacker would need to have the login code that WhatsApp sends by SMS when logging in to a new device. That is why it is so important to ignore the messages that ask us for this type of verification codes.

Using spyware

Unfortunately, over the years more and more have emerged tools designed to spy on WhatsApp conversations. Although some are justified on the premise of being parental control applications that allow parents and guardians to know who their children are talking to, the reality is that in most cases they are used for other purposes.

In addition, these types of applications have progressed to become increasingly complex, so that they don’t even need super user or root permissions to carry out its function. Some of them even offer full access to device content, including call logs, chats, group chats and multimedia files through WhatsApp.

How to avoid it

Frequently review the list of apps installed on your mobile to rule out suspicious or unknown applications. If, in addition, you suspect that they may be spying on your conversations, checking if your mobile runs slower or consumes more battery than usual may be clues that indicate that something is wrong – a background process may be running to give access the attacker to all the content on your device. In any case, formatting your mobile can be the most effective solution.