Losing a smartphone in today’s day and age is nothing less than a nightmare. For, so much of our data, most accounts (including banks), digital wallets, photos, chats, emails and more is in this compact device. Losing the phone means, losing not just the device but also so much of this data.
However, in case you meet such misfortune there’s lot that needs to be done. One of this is also to ensure that no stranger gets hold of your WhatsApp account. As it has become one of the most important tools of communication for most of us. And now with WhatsApp Payments rolling out, it’s become all the more critical to make sure that your WhatsApp account does not get in the wrong hands.
Here’s an step-by-step guide that you need to follow in case your smartphone is lost or stolen to secure your WhatsApp account.
1. The first thing to do in this case is to lock your SIM card by calling your mobile service provider. Once you have done this, it will not be possible to for anyone to authenticate the account on that handset. This is because it is necessary to get an SMS or phone call to certify the account associated to your number. And since the SIM will be deactivated, the person who is in possession of your device will not be able to use it.
2. After getting your SIM locked, you can now activate your WhatsApp on a different handset. The fastest way to do this is to use a SIM card with the same number. Remember, WhatsApp can be activated only on one device at a time on a phone number.
3. Another option is to email the WhatsApp team. In case, you go for this option, include the sentence “Lost/stolen: Deactivate my account” in the body of the email, along with your phone number. Give these details with your country code. Also, remember to write your number exactly as you have it saved in your smartphone.
One more thing to note here is that WhatsApp can also be operated using Wi-Fi even if the SIM card is not present inside the handset so it is necessary to contact WhatsApp team and get your account deactivated. As it is also not possible to disable WhatsApp from any other device. WhatsApp is not able to find the location of the lost handset. Users have a 30-day window to reactivate this account. After a month, the account will be completely erased. In case your contacts send you messages during this period, they will remain pending, but will get erased after 30 days.
If you had backed up your chats using Google Drive, iCloud or any other cloud solution before your phone went missing, you might be able to restore your chat history.