All WhatsApp accounts are tied to mobile phone numbers.
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Since it's common for phone numbers to be recycled by mobile providers, it's possible that the previous owner of your current phone number used WhatsApp. If the previous owner of your phone number didn't delete their WhatsApp account, you and your contacts may see your phone number in WhatsApp before you activate a new account. You may also see someone else's profile photo and about attached to your phone number.
There's no need to worry. This only means that the previous account wasn't deleted, so old information still exists in the system. This does not mean that the previous owner of the phone number has any access to the WhatsApp account you activate with your new phone number.
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Your conversations and other WhatsApp data are secure. If you enjoyed this story, we recommend reading our latest tech stories and trending tech stories. Sign in. Get started. How I got your phone number through Facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Inti De Ceukelaire Follow. STEP 1: The last two numbers 1 minute I had to find a way to test thousands of phone numbers at once.
STEP 3: Narrowing down 10—15 minutes The last part only consists of some simple math: we have 10, possible numbers left, so if we test half of those numbers we can narrow down our pool to a handful of numbers, for example: 50 — STEP 4: The final countdown 1 minute With only 40 possible phone numbers left, it is pretty easy to test all the numbers that are still in the pool. In small countries phone numbers on Facebook are easily discoverable. This is confusing and Facebook offers too little measures to prevent this.
Who is affected? Anyone in a small country that perhaps unknowingly added their phone number and did not change the default setting. It is hard to give an exact list of affected countries, but if you have a digit phone number and the list of provider numbers first two is rather limited, it should work. How can I test whether Facebook knows my phone number? All known phone numbers should be listed there. Only if you live in a country with a rather small population, like Belgium : Check whether Facebook knows your phone number question above.
How does it work? The process consists of four steps and requires a program that is able to generate a specific range of phone numbers 1. Getting the last two numbers using password reset takes 2 minutes 2. Narrowing down the pool by splitting it in half and trial and error 15—20 minutes.
- What happens after you verify your phone number?
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What can or should Facebook do about this? It all comes down to informing people. Facebook could also hide the two numbers that are revealed in a password reset request whenever the user does not frequently log in from that particular computer. Should I remove my phone number? Most politicians and Belgian celebs I contacted about this issue were glad I made them aware of this and removed their phone number right away.
To me, a more concerning part is that users seem to be misinformed by vague privacy settings. It proves that despite its efforts, Facebook still faces some tough challenges concerning privacy and usability. Not at all. Facebook has one of the best bug bounty programs and security teams available to hackers. I found a vulnerability in Facebook.
How do I find out my new number?
Where do I start? Make sure you read their Bug Bounty Rules and are reporting a valid bug. Who are you? As a kid, I was extremely skilled at breaking stuff. Any other projects?
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