WhatsApp is warning billions of Android and iPhone users how strangers can read your text messages – and how to protect yourself

iPhone and Android users around the world have been urged to be wary of “clones” of leading messaging platform WhatsApp.

And choosing the wrong app when it appears to be WhatsApp could even mean reading your most intimate messages to strangers.

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The cloning issue of the popular messaging app has led to a warning from the actual WhatsApp makers for users to ensure they have downloaded and installed the real deal.

“Unofficial WhatsApp apps are modified versions of our app, meaning they are developed by third parties and violate our Terms of Service,” WhatsApp warned, according to The Sun.

“We do not support these apps because they put your privacy, security and safety at risk.

“Using them does not guarantee that your messages or your data, such as your location or the files you share, will be private and secure.”

The app’s support team warned that there was no way to be sure your messages were safe when using one of the chat platform’s clone versions.

Using fake versions also violates WhatsApp’s terms of service, which may prevent you from using the actual app.

WhatsApp has flagged at least two modified versions of the app that contain malware that users on both iPhone and Android should avoid: Whatsapp Plus and GB Whatsapp.

Potential warning signs that you’re using a fake version of WhatsApp are requests for membership fees – there are no charges for using the real app – or the use of ads.

While Google will likely warn Android users in its app store when they try to download rogue versions of WhatsApp that it’s fraudulent and can be removed as a result, it’s still not a foolproof system.

The best thing users can do is go to the official iPhone download site here or, if they are using Android, go to the official GooglePlay site for WhatsApp here.

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