Writing messages, sending photos and videos or voicemails – we share the most intimate things with our friends or family via WhatsApp. But one application makes it possible for others to read your entire chats if you’re not careful – and it comes from WhatsApp itself!
The WhatsApp Web feature allows you to use the chat service from your PC. This is convenient if you don’t want to constantly reach for your smartphone to chat. Some also simply prefer to type on a PC keyboard. But the program can also become a security hole if it is misused. Others can read their WhatsApp chats!
Use WhatsApp Web correctly
To log in to WhatsApp Web in the first place, you need the cell phone on which you normally use WhatsApp and a laptop with a correspondingly current browser version. At web.whatsapp.com you can reach the corresponding page. There you will be asked to scan a QR code. Do this by selecting “WhatsApp Web” in the top right menu of your smartphone app and tapping the plus symbol. WhatsApp then accesses the camera so that the QR code can be activated. Within no time, all your chat histories will then appear on your tablet, laptop or PC.
Anyone who uses your phone for even a few seconds without locking it can easily scan the code and read all your WhatsApp chats. All it takes is a quick trip to the toilet, to the other end of the room, or during a lunch break, and you leave your phone on the table or don’t log out of WhatsApp Web properly.
Also interesting: How to use broadcast lists on WhatsApp
How to protect yourself from cell phone spying
With a few tricks you can protect yourself and your chat history from the curious. First of all, always log out from all devices except your smartphone with which you use WhatsApp Web. You can find out whether you are already logged in to WhatsApp from a second device in the app’s menu under Settings for WhatsApp Web. There, you can not only connect to a device, but you can also see a list of browsers that have been connected in the past and the access date underneath. Directly below the list, you can directly log out of all other devices or you can tap on the corresponding option individually.
You can also disconnect directly from the browser version of WhatsApp. To do this, call up the menu above the chat list; marked by three dots on top of each other. There you will find the option “Log out”.
Also, always use password protection on your smartphone screen. Even if you trust friends, still think carefully about who you give your phone and with it all your secrets to. Then again, what should remain secret will remain secret.
Up to three years imprisonment threatens
By the way: if others read your messages via WhatsApp, for example, without your knowledge, this is not a trivial offense. Anyone who intercepts data without authorization under Section 202b of the German Criminal Code (StGB) faces a prison sentence of up to two years. If the perpetrator under § 202a StGB spied out data that was not intended for the person and even secured with a special access, even up to three years imprisonment.