Whatsapp is begging its 1.5 billion users to update their applications after the discovery of a security bug that lets hackers secretly install spyware on users’ devices.
The Guardian recently reported that the spyware is “capable of trawling through calls, texts and other data, activating the phone’s camera and microphone and performing other malicious activities”, and is installed via an infected WhatsApp call.
A WhatsApp spokesperson revealed that the company “encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices”.
“We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users.”
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Have I Been Affected?
Whatsapp, a Facebook platform, is yet to disclose how many users’ account have been tampered with after the hack, but thus far, some targets which includes a “human rights lawyer and an Amnesty International researcher, have been identified”, according to the Guardian.
Whatsapp shared that the hackers were “able to install spyware through WhatsApp’s voice call function, even if the user did not pick up the call”, as per a report from Sky News.
Therefore, if you are yet to receive a Whatsapp voice call from an unknown number or a phonecall thats been dropped, you should be safe – at this moment there is no precise way to know for certain if your account has been hacked.
But, this hack appears to have been aimed at anyone working in industries that handle sensitive information such as lawyers and journalists, so if you make use of Whatsapp for work correspondence, be extra careful.
How Can I Check If I Have The Latest Version Of WhatsApp?
It doesn’t matter what your WhatsApp is used for, your application should be updated asap.
If you are an Android user, knowing if you have the latest version of the application or not is possible, since Whatsapp lists the latest version on its site. The latest version of WhatsApp on Android is 2.19.134.
For iOS users, the latest version of WhatsApp for iOS is 2.19.51.
How To Update WhatsApp On Android?
To update Whatsapp on your Android device, you have to access the Google Play Store, and tap on the menu in the top left-hand corner of your display.
After that, choose “My Apps & Games” where Whatsapp will be visible in a list of your applications – If your own messaging app is updated to the most recent version, the button close to it will reveal “Open.”
If the application is yet to be updated, the button close to it will reveal “Update” – Tap on it for installation of the most recent version of Whatsapp for your Android device.
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How To Update WhatsApp For iOS?
As an iPhone and iPad user, you have to go to the App Store, where every available update will be revealed in “Updates.”
If your WhatsApp is already updated to the latest version, it will be revealed in a list of your applications with a button that reveals “Open.”
If the application is yet to be updated, the button will reveal “Update” – Tap on it for the installation of the most recent version of WhatsApp for iOS.