WhatsApp announced that from 1st February 2020, their messaging service will no longer work on millions of older devices that run on older operating systems. With over 1.5 billion smartphone users in 180 countries, sending 50 million messages per day, the update will have a big effect on a significant amount of iPhone and Android users.
WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has stated that the change is to ensure that hackers will not be able to exploit gaps in the older software and steal personal details.
The handsets and operating systems affected are:
An operating system of iOS 8 or older
Apple's iPhone 4s
Android using versions of Google's operating system released in 2010, such as Android handsets using versions 2.3.7 or older
WhatsApp stopped supporting all Windows phones from December 31st 2019.
If you are unsure which operating system your phone runs on, it is easy to find out.
Look into your phone's :
settings> About Phone/About Device/Apple ID> Android Version/ Your iPhone.
This will differ depending on your smartphone and is just a general rule.
If your smartphone runs iOS 9 or your Android has OS 4.0.3, or later, you shouldn't have any issues, and you won't need to do anything. Always update to the newest version of the app, if you can, to stay safe while using it. App updates include security fixes against malware and viruses etc. in order to give people outstanding protection. Without installing updates, your phone is susceptible to hackers because bugs and glitches are no longer fixed.
WhatsApp could stop functioning at any time due to this withdrawal of support for older phones. The app will also no longer run any new features for the older phone models. If you are on an older system and WhatsApp is no longer be supported, you may need to look at installing a similar messaging app.
It may be a tough decision but the alternative option would be buying a new handset which will support it. It all depends on how essential the app is to you.
What WhatsApp have done is a measure to keep you safe when using your smartphone, to stop your data being stolen, than can then be sold on the dark web . You should take measures to ensure that when you use your smartphone you are safe by installing an antivirus software like McAfee , as well as checking the Dark Web to see if your details have been stolen.