Been invited to download WhatsApp Gold? Don’t. This popular scam always seems to make its way back into the conversation. While many security experts and researchers have warned about clicking on the link provided. Read on to find out what WhatsApp Gold actually is, and to learn how to keep your smartphones secure at all times.
Every once in a while, WhatsApp users have to deal with messages inviting them to activate something called WhatsApp Gold. According to the message, this is a premium version of the messaging service used only by “big celebrities”. The message also states that the upgrade unlocks a plethora of bonus features, like WhatsApp Video calling. Anyone who uses the platform, however, knows that the features the message claims to be on offer are already found on the “normal” version of the app.
Let me be exceptionally clear when I say this because for some reason people still fall for this kind of message:
THERE IS NO SECRET VERSION OF WHATSAPP. Any message or link that claims to offer a different version of the app, whether it’s WhatsApp Gold, Blue, Pink, or any other color variation is a SCAM.
These messages usually come with links that you should click on in order to get the updated version. In truth, these links will actually install malicious files, also known as malware, on your device. These files can contain anything from data-stealing malware to ransomware and should be avoided at all times.
So, what is WhatsApp Gold? It’s malware presented as a fake upgrade.
Do. Not. Fall. For. This.
How to Keep your Mobile Safe
In order to make sure that you’re mobile device is always protected from these kinds of hacks and attacks, there are a few steps you need to take:
Use a VPN whenever you connect to the internet.
A VPN is a cybersecurity tool that offers a lot of security benefits. Mainly, VPNs secure your data and make sure that your internet connection is private. They also spoof your IP address, giving you the ability to bypass geo-restricted sites and to browse the web anonymously. Our VPN experts suggest using ExpressVPN as your go-to provider. Read our ExpressVPN review to get a better understanding of the service on offer.
Use Unique Strong Passwords
Re-used passwords, or passwords that contain easy to guess words, are…easy to guess. They offer little security against someone trying to hack into your device or your accounts. Make sure that your passwords are always unique, strong, and unidentifiable. For an added bonus, try to use 2-Factor Authentication whenever you can.
Make sure you always check the permissions you’re giving new and existing apps.
What many people don’t know is that giving an app permission to access certain information off of your devices isn’t always safe. The thing is, that app will still have access to that information even when you don’t use it anymore. Try to regularly skim through your apps and their permissions. Uninstall any app you don’t use anymore and limit the permissions on apps that seem to be asking a little too much from you.
Always Keep Your Phone Updated.
Both Android and iOS release regular security updates that deal with the vulnerabilities and bugs found in their OS. In order to make sure your mobile device is running the most secure OS version available, consistently update your phone when needed. I know it’s easier to simply ignore the update notification, but security updates are actually very important and shouldn’t be ignored.
For more details on securing your mobile phones, check out our Android and iOS guides here.
Do Not Download WhatsApp Gold – Final Thoughts
So, now you know what to do if you receive a message offering you a chance to upgrade to WhatsApp Gold: You ignore the message completely and delete it off your phone. Also, make sure that you follow and implement the steps you need to take to secure your smartphones. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and the best way to stay protected is to proactively put up your defenses whenever possible.
A reader, writer, and avid internet user. Hiba has spent the better part of her adult life looking for ways to have a safer and more user-friendly online experience, all while praising the uses of VPN connections to anyone who would listen.