Is your WhatsApp dangerous? Millions use ‘hacked’ apps – check your version now
MILLIONS of people around the world are at risk of being banned from WhatsApp for using unofficial versions of the chat app that offer extra features.
Users of apps like GB WhatsApp and WhatsApp Delta – copycats built by third parties – are breaking the original service’s rules.
What are WhatsApp clones?
WhatsApp users who sign in with “clone” versions of the app will be banned — and in some cases, may lose their chat history forever.
It’s part of a crackdown on rogue third-party versions of the app, which are hugely popular but break the company’s rules.
The Android apps often share many of the features of their namesake, but with a number of extra features.
They may offer the ability to auto-reply, send multiple photos, or hide read receipts on top of other benefits not available on the “real” app.
Often built by anonymous developers, the clones are not available on Android’s Google Play Store and must instead be downloaded via a website.
WhatsApp has strict rules against the use of WhatsApp clones.
What is WhatsApp’s clone policy?
In a recent update to its website, WhatsApp emphasized that third-party WhatsApp copying is prohibited under its terms of service.
Those using them face a permanent ban from WhatsApp unless they switch to the official version of the app.
“If you received a message in the app that your account is ‘temporarily banned’, this means that you are probably using an unsupported version of WhatsApp instead of the official WhatsApp app,” the US firm said.
“If you do not switch to the official app after being temporarily banned, your account may be permanently banned from using WhatsApp.”
Why are WhatsApp clones banned?
The Facebook-owned chat app said third-party apps that connect to WhatsApp are banned due to security concerns.
“Unsupported apps, such as WhatsApp Plus, GB WhatsApp, or apps that claim to move your WhatsApp chats between phones, are modified versions of WhatsApp,” WhatsApp said.
“These unofficial apps are developed by third parties and violate our Terms of Service.
“WhatsApp does not support these third-party apps because we cannot validate their security practices.”
To switch to the official version of WhatsApp, you may need to backup your chat history first.
You can do so by following the guidelines posted on the WhatsApp website, here.
We pay for your stories! Got a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]