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How to turn on two-factor authentication for WhatsApp


We all would like to think that we are smart enough or tech savvy enough to spot an online scam or phishing attempt. Sometimes, some of these attempts are pretty obvious, but sometimes they can be pretty clever and in a moment of panic, you might not even realize that you are being attacked.

This is why while staying up to date on the latest attacks is important, another way to protect your accounts is by enabling two-factor authentication. This could be seen as one of the last lines of defense so that in the event your account ever gets compromised, as long as the attacker doesn’t have access to your phone, you should be safe.

So if you’re looking to protect your WhatsApp account from potential hacks and scams, here’s what you need to do to enable 2FA on your account.

Enable 2FA for WhatsApp

  1. Launch WhatsApp
  2. Go to the app’s Settings (Android users will need to tap the three-dot icon first)
  3. Tap on Account
  4. Tap on Two-step verification and then tap on Enable
  5. You will need to create a six-digit PIN
  6. Once you’ve created a PIN, enter your email address. This is where WhatsApp will email you to reset your PIN in the event you forget it. Keep in mind that this is optional, but as WhatsApp notes, if you don’t provide an email, you’ll have to wait 7 days to reset your PIN.
  7. Tap Next
  8. Confirm your email address and tap Save or Done

What happens now is that should someone else try to register your WhatsApp number on their device, they will need to enter the PIN you just created. Failure to do so will not allow them to register that number on their device.

We should point out that this two-step verification is unlike your more traditional 2FA where a randomly generated OTP is sent to your phone. This means that if the hacker has access to your email account, they could request a reset of your PIN, but we suppose it’s better than not having it at all.

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Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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