WhatsApp users are being urged to update the app immediately after it was hacked — here’s how to get protected

WhatsApp was hacked in early May.

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WhatsApp was hacked in early May.
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Christian Wiediger/Unsplash

WhatsApp is urging people to update the app immediately after it was targeted by hackers installing sophisticated spyware on users’ phones, giving the hackers access to a trove of data.

The security vulnerability has been fixed in updated versions of WhatsApp released in recent days, but some users will need to manually update the app to get protected.

It is not yet known how many of WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users were targeted by the bad actors, who installed the surveillance technology – developed by Israel’s NSO Group – by phoning the target through WhatsApp’s call functionality.

Read more: WhatsApp was hacked and attackers installed spyware on people’s phones

“WhatsApp 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,” Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, said.

Scroll on to find out how to make sure your phone is safe from the vulnerability.


First, check to see whether you have the latest version of WhatsApp. Let’s start with Android.

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  • Open Play Store
  • Go to the Menu
  • Tap “My apps & games”
  • Find WhatsApp Messenger within your “Installed” apps
  • Tap the app
  • Hit “Read more” and scroll to the bottom

Under “App info,” if it says you have version 2.19.134, good news! Your phone is protected.

If you have an earlier version, for example 2.19.133, you need to update.


Now to get updating.

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Business Insider
  • Go to Play Store
  • Tap the Menu
  • Hit “My apps & games”
  • Tap “Update” next to the WhatsApp Messenger

Alternatively, you can search for WhatsApp in the Play Store and hit “Update.”

Remember, you want to make sure the app updates to version 2.19.134. The screenshot above shows what the app looks like once updated.


Here’s how to check your version of WhatsApp if you have an iPhone.

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  • Open the App Store
  • Tap the “Updates” tab
  • Scroll until you see WhatsApp, either under “Pending” or “Updated recently”
  • Hit “More” to see your most recent version number

If you have version 2.19.51, again, you’re in luck!

But if you have version 2.19.50, as in the screenshot above, you need to update to the latest version.


Finally, here’s how to update WhatsApp on your iPhone.

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Business Insider
  • Open the App Store
  • Tap “Updates”
  • Find WhatsApp Messenger and hit “Update”

Alternatively, you can search for WhatsApp in the App Store and hit “Update.” To be protected, you want version 2.19.51.

And that’s it: You should be safe from the hackers.