1. DeJos's Avatar
    Hi All,

    Reference to my Title subject, How is it possible for some of my contacts (my in-laws as am not going along well with them) to know my new mobile number (until now 4 of them which I have not shared with anyone) whenever I use it with a newly installed WhatsApp every time even after I do factory reset my new Android phone and now after I installed Anti Virus also. As soon as I come online on newly installed WhatsApp with my new mobile number they come to know about it and then they toggle around online-offline. Is it through by means of :-
    1. Hacking software (Though For them to get my online Intimation, they should definitely know my new number)
    2. Anyone known to them within the Internet Service Provider Office by Hacking my WiFi connection somehow or my IP or Mac Address
    3. Anyone known to them within the Cyber cell Office

    Regards
    DeJo
    03-02-2021 12:24 PM
  2. VidJunky's Avatar
    I must preface this with I don't use WhatsApp, however I feel familiar with similar apps.

    Anti-virus apps on Android are a scam, IMO. What isn't an opinion is their tactics. They often try scare people into buying or paying for services that do little to nothing and many can cause issues instead of avert them. Users that don't do high risk things like downloading from random places on the internet or get apps from non-reputable sources to name a couple have very little to worry about.

    1. Anyway, Hollywood has given everyone the feeling that hacking is something that can be done from a distance. The government can do it but it's expensive, requires special equipment and training and would be done for a reason, money power influence typically. In the real world it requires a bit more hands on so if you can answer "no" to these questions you've probably not been hacked;

    Has anyone besides yourself had control of your device for more than an hour where you couldn't see them?

    Do you suspect someone could have hooked your device up to a computer when it was out of your control?

    Can you swipe to unlock your device without a password, pattern or bio-metric? Also see the first and second questions...

    Have you received a text, email or other communication that contained a link that you clicked on and then were asked to input personal information? Username, password or phone number...

    If you answered no to all of those then your device hasn't been hacked.

    2. Do you use a password on your personal WiFi? While passwords aren't impossible to guess monitoring data on a system isn't as easy as just being connected to it.

    Your IP is not a private thing. Everywhere you go on the internet has access to this basic piece of information about you. It's stored in Cookies, it's seen by webpages, it's logged in modems and routers that you connect through. It's not personally identifiable unless they know who you are and that the IP belongs to you but they would have to know both of those things to know it's you and then there isn't a lot that can be done with that information. I say that with an asterisk. While some webpages and online services may identify your device through your IP it isn't usually the only identifying marker used to access accounts. Most still require a username and password or some other data that verifies you are you and that the account belongs to you. So just having or cloning the IP isn't enough to gain access. Again we're talking about accessing an account not the device itself.

    3. I don't know CCO. If it is a legit app or service it uses some kind of encryption that is something unique to your device. A simple IP isn't likely to the that unique thing. See number 2.

    Finally security is security for a reason. If people were able to just run around it willy nilly it wouldn't be security. You're a lot safer than you seem to think but I feel like privacy is your main concern and here's why. What I assume is happening with WhatsApp is they are using your contacts and suggesting people to you and you to others based on the fact that they appear in your contact list or you appear in theirs. The issue is what you're sharing with WhatsApp. If I remember correctly you can opt to not share your contacts. It means extra work for the user, which is why so many often opt to share this information. Remember if you really want privacy you must be private.

    What could you do? You could get a new number, start a new WhatsApp, opt not to share your contacts and manually add trusted friends. At least then anyone who finds you finds you because someone shared your info with shared it with them. Alternatively you could remove these people from your contacts then start a new WhatsApp account but without a new number if you're in their contacts you'll still show up. As long as you have ties to them and opt to share information there is a chance someone will be able to find you.

    It might be worth it to look into WhatsApp's blocking and privacy features. Knowing you're out there and being able to contact you are two different things.

    Best wishes
    03-02-2021 11:09 PM
  3. DeJos's Avatar
    Firstly, let me tell you and as I have mentioned in my first chat, that my Mobile device, mobile number and my whatsapp installation are all new and fresh...and I never handed over my device to anyone because I bought this mobile when I was out of touch with my in-laws which means I have never met them since more than a year or so. Yes I have used this android mobile of mine for whatsapp chatting with my in-laws when I tried to mend the relationship, using a different number (which is the only number known to them from my side), but then I changed with a couple of mobile numbers in the same mobile. And I used this number (known to them) for telegram app as well. Initially I thought, it might be through Telegram app that my other numbers are getting leaked becos until and unless you change your visibility of number in your privacy setting in telegram, all the numbers used in telegram will be visible to all the synced contacts in telegram. Then when I felt suspicious about something, I deleted all social media system files that of whatsapp, telegram, Facebook, etc...completely factory reset my mobile, installed antivirus (free without any subscription for my happiness, though as you said if wont be of any use and you may be right too), installed whatsapp newly and used a completely new number again from a different country through one of my friend, who is also unknown to my in-laws. But still I suspect that this number gets known to them. How??? and that is my question. because I asked one of my friends to continuously monitor this and when he was doing so, there was no activity but as soon as I come online and go offline and till a couple of minutes, all the toggling of their online-offline starts. How? and that's why I asked those three possibilities mentioned in my first chat, which I thought off. FYI, COO is not any software, but its a police Cyber Cell department in India. They have all my details and documents like the House address, passport details, Aadhar card details (Citizenship identification card in India) when I was in good terms with them. BSNL is the Internet service provider in India
    So now my basic question is - can they get my new mobile number through any of those three means (mentioned in my first chat) or any other means without any physical contact to me or my mobile device and if so how?
    Now my basic question is can anyone know my mobile number unknown to them by any means and if so, how?
    03-03-2021 01:10 AM
  4. VidJunky's Avatar
    If you haven't opted to allow WhatsApp or Telegram to access your contacts I'm not sure how they would be able to access your number. You say the two things you mentioned are government agencies, which I would assume wouldn't release information without a criminal investigation or court order. At least that is how it works here in the states. No one can just call up the police or ISP and ask for and get personal information normally.

    I was only using the out of your control thing to illustrate that your device can't be hacked without physical contact and control, with the exception of the government or a super tech savvy criminal, who likely target someone with power or wealth and not to help the average person contact someone trying not be reached. We actually see the question, have I been hacked, a lot around here and it is almost always a bad app or they were doing suspect things that allowed ads to be pushed to their device.

    In your reply you didn't out right say that you aren't sharing your contacts with those two apps. You also didn't say if the people you are trying to avoid contact with show up as suggestions for contacts in those apps. Getting you to share your contacts is one way these apps make money and often people see no harm in doing this because the app usually plays it as, I can make connecting with your friends easy just tell me who is in your address book and I'll show you if they are using this app and help you to connect to them. It all sounds innocent until you start showing up in their suggestion lists as well.

    As far as I know the only way for this to happen would be if someone allowed the app to access their own contacts or address book, the information was leaked by a mutual friend or if some true piece of identifiable information was being used, like a real first and last name, email or phone number.

    I know WhatsApp is hugely popular in India so there may be things I don't know about the app so perhaps someone with more knowledge will chime in if they see something I'm missing.

    Best wishes
    J Dubbs likes this.
    03-05-2021 07:10 PM
  5. J Dubbs's Avatar
    Firstly, let me tell you and as I have mentioned in my first chat, that my Mobile device, mobile number and my whatsapp installation are all new and fresh...and I never handed over my device to anyone because I bought this mobile when I was out of touch with my in-laws which means I have never met them since more than a year or so. Yes I have used this android mobile of mine for whatsapp chatting with my in-laws when I tried to mend the relationship, using a different number (which is the only number known to them from my side), but then I changed with a couple of mobile numbers in the same mobile. And I used this number (known to them) for telegram app as well. Initially I thought, it might be through Telegram app that my other numbers are getting leaked becos until and unless you change your visibility of number in your privacy setting in telegram, all the numbers used in telegram will be visible to all the synced contacts in telegram. Then when I felt suspicious about something, I deleted all social media system files that of whatsapp, telegram, Facebook, etc...completely factory reset my mobile, installed antivirus (free without any subscription for my happiness, though as you said if wont be of any use and you may be right too), installed whatsapp newly and used a completely new number again from a different country through one of my friend, who is also unknown to my in-laws. But still I suspect that this number gets known to them. How??? and that is my question. because I asked one of my friends to continuously monitor this and when he was doing so, there was no activity but as soon as I come online and go offline and till a couple of minutes, all the toggling of their online-offline starts. How? and that's why I asked those three possibilities mentioned in my first chat, which I thought off. FYI, COO is not any software, but its a police Cyber Cell department in India. They have all my details and documents like the House address, passport details, Aadhar card details (Citizenship identification card in India) when I was in good terms with them. BSNL is the Internet service provider in India
    So now my basic question is - can they get my new mobile number through any of those three means (mentioned in my first chat) or any other means without any physical contact to me or my mobile device and if so how?
    Now my basic question is can anyone know my mobile number unknown to them by any means and if so, how?
    It's pretty much impossible to be anonymous nowadays using any smartphone/pc etc. Every country/company/app has ways to access your personal info when you use any of their services. All you have is their word that they won't abuse that privilege, and it has been proven over and over and over again that their word isn't good enough. The only way to have any hope of true privacy is to use a flip phone running KaiOS with NO Google apps on it, and only use it for calls and texts... nothing else. If you can hide it's number in settings even better.

    Facebook owns WhatsApp, if you want to find out how trustworthy Facebook is google the Cambridge Analytica breach among others. If you want to use a modern communications device of any kind, and any social media or email, you'd better be sure you're squeaky clean with nothing to hide, and nobody you're trying to hide from
    VidJunky likes this.
    03-06-2021 06:08 AM

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