Recently, WhatsApp discovered a vulnerability that allows spyware to be installed on the users' phone. WhatsApp has urged its 1.5 billion users globally to update their app to protect against "potential targeted exploits."
Here's how to know if your WhatsApp needs an update:
If you are an Android user, open WhatsApp and tap on the three-dotted menu at the top right corner. Now, go to Settings. You need to navigate to the "Help" section and then go to "App Info" to see the version of WhatsApp installed on your phone. If your WhatsApp is running on version 2.19.134 or prior, you need to update your WhatsApp immediately.
Meanwhile, if you are an iOS user, open WhatsApp and go to Settings > Help. You can check the WhatsApp version at the top. If your WhatsApp for iOS is running on version .19.51 or prior, it's time for you to update your WhatsApp.
WhatsApp said without naming the attacker that the attack has all the hallmarks of a private company that reportedly works with governments to deliver spyware, which takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems.
WhatsApp spokesperson said the company encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of its app and to keep their mobile operating system up-to-date.
"(This will help) 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," WhatsApp spokesperson said
Here's how to keep your WhatsApp up-to-date:
You can turn on automatic app updates. If you enable automatic app updates, you will no longer have to worry about updating your apps manually. Because more often than not, we tend to forget apps with the latest security patch when it comes to ensuring our security and privacy online.
Updating apps not only delivers new features but also fixes bugs and security loopholes that may be harmful. Go to Play Store > Tap the hamburger menu at the top left corner > Settings > Auto-update apps.
If you select the option to auto-update apps over any network (including your cellular data), you might have to bear additional cellular data charges. Similarly, you can also choose to auto-update apps over Wi-Fi. Enabling auto updates will apply to all the apps installed on your smartphone, including WhatsApp.
In case you don't have a Google account to update WhatsApp through Play tore, you can manually download and sideload WhatsApp on your phone through https://www.whatsapp.com/download/.
(With agency inputs)