WhatsApp has stopped working on millions of phones

The messaging service is doing this in order to protect user security


Tech Desk February 02, 2020
Users were unable to share images, GIFs, and stickers.PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

WhatsApp Messenger around the globe has stopped operating on millions of iPhones and Android devices running older operating systems.

Those who are currently using Apple iOS 8 and Android versions 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older will, unfortunately, be unable to continue using the app.

According to Google’s distribution figures, 0.3% of the world’s 2.5 billion users are still on Android Gingerbread or earlier.

The messaging service is doing this in order to protect user security however, this comes at a cost because people using older devices will have no option but to change their smartphone because it will no longer be compatible with WhatsApp.

Time to update your operating system

Usually, users wait it out before updating their operating system because they want to make sure that bugs are dealt with, however, that is not a good idea since each new version will be targeting a specific security issue in iOS and Android.

“Operating systems that don't have the latest updates put you at risk because they have a lot of known vulnerabilities,” says John Opdenakker, a security specialist.

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He advises people to “always install the latest updates.”

Updating to the new version will let you use WhatsApp right away.

What if my phone can’t run a newer operating system?

If your device is not compatible with the newer operating system then you will have to switch to a new smartphone.

“When you can no longer update the operating system and apps on your device, the only solution is to buy a new phone,” Opdenakker says. “When you do so, it is important to check for how long, and how often, updates are released by the vendor.”

WhatsApp security

This messaging service is used by half a billion people and hence a popular choice for fraudsters to hack hence running the latest version is a more secure option.

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WhatsApp alternatives

Everyone we know around us is using WhatsApp however, there are several other options you could give a try including Signal or Wickr, which could make your communications more secure.

WhatsApp is one of the most used messaging apps with around 1.5 billion active users around the world so this may come as an inconvenience for many as they will have to update their devices if they wish to use the app.

This article originally published on Forbes.

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