Those who use WhatsApp have been urged to change a simple setting on their phones amid a major change that could lead to higher mobile phone bills.

The update is set to improve the encrypted messaging app but this change could cost you your data and lead to higher phone bills.

The change will see a new feature that allows users to send higher-resolution images and videos to friends and family on the app.

In effect, users can send HD (High Definition) media to those in their contacts, allowing for high-quality conversations.

While this might be great for many WhatsApp users, those on low-cost mobile phone deals could be at risk of surpassing their data, seeing them pay more month in and month out.

For example, a standard photo uses around 2.2MB of data while a higher quality one could use up to 5MB.

Videos are even worse with these eating away at your data without you noticing until it is too late.

How to avoid higher phone bills as WhatsApp announces HD video and image change

With this warning to users, WhatsApp owners Meta have revealed one easy way to avoid paying more for your data.

The social media company insists that 'standard definition' should be the default option for users with those wanting higher quality media needing to select the 'high definition' option.

However, it is always worth checking to see if this option is on to make sure you are saving yourself data and storage space on your device.

You can check this by visiting your WhatsApp settings and tapping on 'data' before selecting 'media upload quality' where you should be able to change this setting if it is active on your account.

The new feature will not be available on all phones yet but some users may have the beta version active.