Do you use the ultra-popular WhatsApp instant messaging app on your mobile phone?
If so, a newly-discovered security flaw enables hackers to install a very dangerous piece of malware known as “Pegasus” onto your phone simply by dialing your phone number!
What’s more, the Pegasus malware will be installed on the phone even if you decline to answer the call.
Once Pegasus is installed the hacker will have complete access to every scrap of personal and financial data that’s stored on your phone.
Luckily, WhatsApp has released an update to the app that fixes the flaw.
This is what a WhatsApp company rep had to say in response to an inquiry from Consumer Reports:
“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.”
As you can see, this is pretty serious stuff.
Bottom line: If you have WhatsApp installed on your smartphone you need to update it with the latest (patched) version immediately.
You also need to ensure that everything else on your phone is up-to-date as well.
And if you have any kind of financial info stored on your phone (credit/debit card info, bank account info, etc.) I strongly recommend that you keep a very close eye on those accounts AND your credit reports for the foreseeable future.
Bonus tip #1: This post on my Rick’s Infoblog explains how to get a copy of your credit report for free.
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