Although the scams in WhatsApp They were always a latent threat, in recent times they have multiplied to deceive people and steal their personal data, often with the excuse of something as delicate as the vaccine to protect themselves from COVID-19.

    The cybercriminals they contact their victims posing as an official entity, they send them a link so that, for example, they can take an appointment to receive the vaccine and when the person clicks, the WhatsApp account is kidnapped. So the scammers impersonate the identity of the owner and begin to write to their most frequent contacts to request to send money digitally.

    How to defend ourselves?

    This Tuesday, February 7th is the Safe Internet Day (SID, for its acronym in English: “Safer Internet Day”), which promotes a better internet for everyone, with the aim of becoming a space to promote the use of technology in a responsible, respectful, critical and creative way.

    In a scenario in which we have to experience new attacks on a daily basis, this date is a good opportunity to reinforce five tips to be protected:

    1. in WhatsApp it is elementary to activate the two-step verification to establish a Personal PIN An additional request is made if someone tries to sign in from another device. It is very important to avoid sharing this code that the system sends us by SMS or phone call with third parties.

    2. The application allows you to shield the chats with fingerprint or Face ID, so that no one else can access your private messages. In the same way, it prevents someone from registering a new WhatsApp Web session.

    3. If you receive WhatsApp messages from unknown users, Never click on the links they send. It is advisable to block and report them. In case of calls from unknown phones, it is best not to answer.

    4. Review WhatsApp Web sessions, to verify that there are no suspicious entries, from unknown locations and devices. AND activate the antivirus of the telephone.

    How to react?

    In the event that our WhatsApp account is stolen, the first thing to do is notify the closest people with phone calls and through social networks.

    It is then recommended to close all external sessions to confirm that no one is using the account on a computer. Finally, if it is believed that someone entered with a new cell phone, You can close that session by starting WhatsApp again on our device.

    These attacks can happen to anyone: from teenagers to older adults. We can all fall into the trap. That is why we must keep ourselves informed about these types of scams and be always alert against any message that arouses us the slightest suspicion.

    * Cybersecurity specialist, Sales Director for the Southern Cone at VU.

    by By Pablo Lima *

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