WhatsApp, one of the most popular instant messengers in the world with a billion audience, is often a target for fraudsters. To protect yourself from potential intruders, experts recommend three settings that are critical to security.

By default, WhatsApp is not 100 percent secure messaging service, but it does provide features to enhance user protection, Forbes reporter Zach Doffman said.

Many cases of WhatsApp scams are related to social engineering methods, when an attacker tries to trick you into giving him a secret code that comes in an SMS message. As a rule, it hijacks your friend’s or relative’s account, rubbed into the trust, and then, using a verification combination, gains access to a new profile.

To prevent such a situation, you need to be extremely careful and suspicious of all requests to send a code from SMS, even if they come from people you know.In addition, it is worth enabling several features in the WhatsApp settings on your smartphone to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to take over your account.

First of all, you need to enable two-step verification. It will allow you to connect to your account not only using SMS messages, but also using a personal PIN-code that is set by the user himself. This can be done as follows: “Settings” → “Account” → “Two-step verification”. If there is a PIN-code associated with the device, the fraudster will not be able to access the profile, even if he intercepts the SMS message with the secret code.

You can recover your PIN if you have forgotten it using e-mail. Sometimes WhatsApp will ask you to enter your PIN when trying to open a chat as a preventative measure.

Next, you should pay attention to what the WhatsApp account does with the photos and videos that other users send to you. By default, this content is automatically saved to the album. This can be convenient, but also dangerous – if you do not know the sender, then he may well be an attacker who has hidden malicious code in a harmless postcard.

When a picture is saved to the phone’s memory, a hacker can potentially gain access to the system, which means personal data, including information about bank cards.

To avoid this, you need to disable the automatic saving of media content to the phone’s memory. This is done like this: “Settings” → “Chats” → “Media visibility”. This slider must be moved to the left, that is, disabled. This step will also save free memory on the smartphone.

In addition, the expert recommends to attend to your privacy settings and limit the circle of people who can see your profile photo, information and data about the last visit. You can also do this in “Settings” → “Account” → “Privacy” → “Visibility of personal data”. Then you need to allow only your contacts to view your personal information.

In the same menu below, it is recommended to prevent strangers from adding you to groups. In this case, the person will still have the opportunity to invite you to the general chat, but this will not be done automatically, but upon a preliminary request, which can always be rejected.

New in other messengers

In other messengers, for example, in  ICQ New , constant synchronization of messages between all devices is maintained. It was just globally updated last year – it now supports group calls of up to 30 people, the interface was changed and all modern features were added.