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If you use WhatsApp on your computer, you should update it as soon as you get the chance

A security bug in the service could put more than 200 million users at risk.

Image: WhatsApp Web

WHATSAPP WEB USERS are encouraged to make sure their app is up to date after a security bug was found in its desktop site.

The flaw, which only affects the web version of WhatsApp, would allow someone to distribute malware or ransomware by sending over a contact number.

According to security firm Check Point, the flaw originates from the way WhatsApp Web handles contacts sent in the vCard (virtual card) format. A hacker only needs to know a user’s mobile number and send them a vCard that looks real.

Once it’s opened, it could distribute malicious code which could access personal info or hold your device to ransom.

Check Point estimates that at least 200 million people use WhatsApp web. The desktop site is a mirror of the app, allowing for users to read, message and send multimedia files to individuals and groups.

The discovery was shared with WhatsApp near the end of August and it issued a patch shortly after.

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To make sure WhatsApp Web is up to date, log into the service and check the space above the search bar. An option to update will be displayed here (if you haven’t updated already and the process will only take a few seconds to complete.

WhatsApp Web Source: WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp web is available for most platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia and Blackberry. It recently announced that the service now has more than 900 million monthly active users.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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