Early on Monday, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) warned users of the WhatsApp application that they might be exposed to piracy operations.
“A number of WhatsApp users got their accounts taken down as a result of being added to groups by anonymous hackers, who then send out texts in a foreign language and proceed to send files and images that are universally banned,” the ISF explained.
The General Directorate of ISF asked citizens to avoid falling victim to similar situations and to follow these 6 specific steps as a must to avoid having personal accounts banned by WhatsApp:
1- Go to settings and edit your account’s ‘Privacy’ section, change it to only allow your contacts to add you in groups.
2- Adjust the feature in your mobile setting that allows the process of downloading data automatically over the Internet or mobile cellular data. Instead, activate manually initiating a download instead of letting most downloads happen automatically.
3- Activating the two-step verification option and choosing a secret number that the application requests periodically to confirm the identity of the user.
4- After finalizing the two-step verification option, do not provide others with the digit code, which is received by a short message service.
5- Strictly use the official WhatsApp application that is available only on the two verified application stores for approved devices such as Google play or App store, which work on required protection standards.
6- Delete any suspicious links or unreliable messages sent from strange or unknown numbers, and act immediately to ban these numbers.
In case an account gets banned from malicious content transmitted by the hackers, the ISF suggests to contact WhatsApp to re-activate the account.