The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has issued an advisory recommending that users of the popular messaging app, WhatsApp, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect their accounts from being hacked by cybercriminals.
The NCC-CSIRT noted that WhatsApp, owned by Meta, has become a prime target for hackers and scammers looking for unauthorised access to users’ accounts.
The CSIRT described 2FA as a security method that requires two forms of identification to access resources and data, adding an extra layer of protection to accounts. The recommendation further stated that: “WhatsApp is a widely used messaging app with a free mobile app and audio/video call support. To enhance security, enable two-factor authentication by setting up a custom PIN for every new login.
“WhatsApp provides two-factor authentication so you can further secure your account using a PIN. It is an optional feature that adds more security to your WhatsApp account, so it is recommended that everyone installs 2FA.”
The CSIRT provided 10 steps for enabling 2FA on WhatsApp, which include opening WhatsApp, tapping ‘Settings’, tapping ‘Account’, tapping ‘Two-Step Verification’, tapping ‘Enable’, entering a six-digit PIN, tapping ‘Next’, entering the PIN a second time to confirm it, adding an email address for extra security (optional) and tapping ‘Next’.
Those who are concerned that their PIN might have been compromised or is easy to guess can change their WhatsApp PIN or email address by tapping ‘Settings’, ‘Two-Step Verification’, tapping ‘Change PIN’ or ‘Change Email Address’, entering a new PIN or email address and then tapping ‘Next’ to effect the necessary changes.
The NCC-CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and how they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large.
The CSIRT works collaboratively with ngCERT, established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks and related events, a statement by NCC’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka said.