When it comes to our technology, our privacy and security are only as good as the devices and content we use. When there’s an unseen flaw in an app, for example, hackers can exploit it and attack our accounts without our knowledge or even without knowing the flaw exists.

What Is The WhatsApp Vulnerability?

That seems to be the case with the popular collaboration and messaging app, WhatsApp. The tool, owned by Facebook, lets users engage with each other, share files, and encrypt messages that they don’t want to be intercepted. However, all of these features couldn’t keep hackers from using software that injects a virus into the phone by making an actual phone call through WhatsApp.

There’s a lot of speculation about how the hackers were able to infiltrate a user’s phone, including the use of real software that “spies” on people for different government agencies. That software developer has firmly stated it is not responsible for this type of activity and has not authorized anyone to use its spying product outside of its government clients.

Install the WhatsApp Patch

While investigators continue to sort out what may have happened, WhatsApp has issued a patch to it’s 1.5 billion users and seems to have blocked any further hacking attempts. But that does not mean tech users are done worrying.

How Else Can I Protect My Personal Information Online?

First, it’s vitally important that users always update their apps and software; even if other programs haven’t been attacked, updates are essential for securing any vulnerabilities.

Next, it’s important to know which websites are connected to the apps you use. If your WhatsApp login is connected to your Facebook login, for example, both sets of credentials may be vulnerable.

WhatsApp users are encouraged to change their passwords at this time, as well as change their Facebook logins. Remember, this step is necessary even without news of a hacking attempt or security flaw.

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.

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