Get information about the latest alleged WhatsApp data leak and ways to protect your account.

What is the issue?

Nearly 500 million WhatsApp users' phone numbers have been leaked and illegally sold on an underground forum popular with hackers.

According to Cybernews, the hacker is selling a database that includes phone numbers of 487 million WhatsApp users from 84 countries. The researchers obtained data samples and confirmed that all the phone numbers came from WhatsApp. Here is the list of affected users per country:

What is the cause of the WhatsApp data leak?

There has been no official statement from Meta (the owner of WhatsApp) regarding the alleged incident.

What happens when my phone number has been leaked?

  • You may receive unsolicited calls from unknown numbers.
  • You may receive unwanted text messages with suspicious links or phishing URLs.
  • Cybercriminals can use your information to conduct unauthorized online transactions.
  • Attackers can perform scam or trick your relatives and friends.
  • Attackers can use your phone numbers for login attempts to your online accounts.

How do I secure my WhatsApp account?

  1. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on WhatsApp.
    1. Open WhatsApp, then go to Settings.
    2. Tap Account > Two-step verification, then tap TURN ON.
    3. Enter your desired six-digit PIN.
    4. Provide an email address (recommended) or tap Skip.
    5. Tap Next.
    6. Confirm your email address, then tap Save or Done.
  2. Update Trend Micro Mobile Security regularly and allow all needed permissions.
  3. Turn on Fraud Buster on your Android or iPhone to avoid phishing text messages.
  4. Install Trend Micro ID Security - a comprehensive dark web monitoring app to help protect yourself against data leaks and identity theft.
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