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WhatsApp Enhances Security Features to Thwart Scammers and Protect User Accounts

WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, has announced new security measures to protect its users from social engineering attacks and SIM jacking. The move comes after a spate of high-profile hacks that saw scammers hijack people’s accounts, often using social engineering techniques to trick victims into handing over their login credentials.

The most significant of the new features sees WhatsApp requiring users to confirm they want to move their account to a new device using their old device. The move is aimed at preventing SIM jacking attacks, where hackers take control of a victim’s phone number by transferring it to a new SIM card.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told Engadget that Account Protect, the new feature aimed at preventing SIM jacking, will only activate if the company detects a suspicious registration attempt. Users who don’t have access to their old device can request a second one-time passcode to confirm their identity.

But the new measures don’t stop there. WhatsApp is also introducing new background checks aimed at detecting malware and better protecting users if their account is ever compromised. The verification features are automatic and don’t require any user interaction, but the company says they will make accounts more secure.

In addition to these changes, WhatsApp is also making it easier for users to verify that their connection with someone is encrypted. Currently, users have to either scan a QR code or compare a 60-digit number to verify their connection is secure. But moving forward, simply tapping the encryption tab will automatically verify the connection’s security.

Overall, these changes are aimed at making WhatsApp more secure for its more than two billion users. With social engineering attacks and SIM jacking on the rise, it’s more important than ever for messaging apps to take security seriously, and WhatsApp is doing just that.