Thousands of private WhatsApp group chats including those used to trade child sex abuse images have been exposed in

Thousands of private WhatsApp group chats including those used to trade child sex abuse images have been exposed in search results.

The messaging app’s group chat feature is ‘not as secure’ as its users may think, experts warn, and users’ phone numbers and conversations could be exposed.

Groups are normally only available to join by direct invitation within the app, or via the creation of a digital invite link that can be shared anywhere.

However, WhatsApp appeared not to have configured these links to request that they do not get indexed by search engines like Google.

Around 470,000 such invite links had been added to Google’s index — allowing them to be pulled up with simple search terms.

Following the identification of the issue, WhatsApp has now configured its chat site to request that search engines like Google do not index invite links.

However, these exposed links are still appearing on other search engines link Bing, zooskool Yandex and zooskool DuckDuckGo — and may still be published elsewhere on the internet.

WhatsApp users who fear that their group chats may have been exposed can reset their group invitation links via the in-app group settings.

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Thousands of private WhatsApp group chats including those used to trade child sex abuse images are exposed in Google search results, experts warn

Thousands of private WhatsApp group chats including those used to trade child sex abuse images are exposed in Google search results, experts warn

The messaging app's group chat feature is 'not as secure' as its users may think, experts warn, and user's phone numbers and conversations could be exposed

The messaging app’s group chat feature is ‘not as secure’ as its users may think, experts warn, and dog duck user’s phone numbers and conversations could be exposed

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS sciencetech" data-version="2" id="mol-ca964f10-5706-11ea-a26d-d77ce4e0033e" website of private WhatsApp groups exposed in Google search results

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