Instagram’s new feature to secure accounts against hacking

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 14, 2021

Warns against surge in phishing attempts through direct messages

Instagram is launching a new feature to help users secure accounts that may have been hacked.

The feature will guide users on the steps they need to take to secure their account, including checking login activity, reviewing profile information, confirming the accounts that share login information and updating account recovery contact information such as phone number or email.

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform, in a blog post, also recommended additional steps such as enabling two-factor authentication and login request.

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The social media major added that WhatsApp users in certain countries can, in the coming weeks, protect their account using their WhatsApp number. Alternatively, they can enable two-factor authentication using their phone number, or an authenticator app like Duo Mobile or Google Authentication.

When users set up two-factor authentication on Instagram, they receive an alert whenever someone tries to log in to their account from a device or web browser that the platform doesn’t recognise.

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Users can also view the list of devices that have recently logged into their Instagram account under “Settings”, “Security”, “Login Activity”. From there, they can log out a device or inform the platform if they don’t recognise the login.

The platform also warned users about a recent surge in malicious direct messages trying to phish users.

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen a rise in malicious accounts DMing people to try and access sensitive information like account passwords. They may tell you that your account is at risk of being banned, that you are violating our policies around intellectual property, or that your photos are being shared elsewhere,” it said.

“These messages are often scams and violate our policies. Instagram will never send you a DM. When we discover these kinds of scams, we take action against them. But we also encourage you to report the content and block the account,” it added.

The platform has sent notices at the top of people’s Inbox to warn them about these messages over the past two months.

“We’ve also made significant updates to our Support Inbox, so you can find out the latest information about what’s happening with your reports, or find out if any of your posts are violating our policies,” it further said.

“This includes being able to easily see the status of everything you’ve ever reported on Instagram, see what posts of yours may have broken our rules, and how to appeal those decisions,” it added.

Published on July 14, 2021

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