Lost/ Stolen Mobile Phones: What About Your WhatsApp Account?

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WhatsApp is a messaging app that has about two billion users. The popularity and mass usage of the app can sometimes end up being a threat to the user. Unlike email, WhatsApp can be accessed only when the primary device is connected to the internet. For the same reason, it is difficult for the user to access the app if they lose their smartphone. It won’t work even if there is a WhatsApp web installed on the PC. 

When one loses their mobile phone, there is no possibility to deactivate the account through the remote access method. However, the messaging platform has mentioned some steps that can entirely stop another person from using the WhatsApp account.  It can save them from the misuse of their data as well as their contact info. 

The first step to be done is to lock the SIM card of the user. For this, they have to call the network provider and report the loss of their device and confirm the procedure to lock the SIM card. It can completely block the verification procedure of the account as it is done through SMS or Phone call.

Following this step, two available options can be considered by the user. They can get a duplicate SIM with the same number and try to reactivate their account on a new device. It is said to be the easiest method to deactivate the account from the stolen or lost phone as a WhatsApp account would only work on one phone at a time. 

There is also an option for the user to email the company, with the request to deactivate their account. The subject should include: “Deactivate my WhatsApp Account: Lost/Stolen Phone.” Furthermore, in the body, the mobile number must be indicated in the international format. The step should be initiated, only after locking the SIM as there are chances for another person to reactivate the number if the verification works.

Even though the WhatsApp account is deactivated, the contacts will still be able to access the profile and even send messages for up to 30 days. If the user activates the account anyways before the 30 days, they would get back all the pending messages and group chats. However, if they do not reactivate the number, all these messages would be lost along with the account. 

It is crucial to deactivate the account as it is possible to access the account, even if the sim is locked as there is a proper Wi-Fi connection enabled.

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