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Instagram hacking has become a big problem over the past few years, with attacks that lock people and small businesses out of their accounts soaring. It’s even happened to celebrities and influencers: Survivor’s Stephen Bear and Eva Zapico from Love Island have both had their accounts taken over this year. As Instagram includes more shopping options on the platform, this will become even more of a threat as Hackers who gain access to your account could make payments via banking details.
Happily, Instagram has just announced a new feature that should help stop attackers in their tracks.
Called Security Checkup, it will automatically alert people whose accounts may have been hacked, or who have been hacked before. Users will see a notification when they log in asking if they want to start the checkup process. Then the app will guide you through some steps to make sure everything is secure.
These include checking recent logins to accounts, confirming which accounts share login information and updating contact information such as phone numbers or email.
Instagram also plans to roll out the ability to secure accounts by sending a code to your WhatsApp every time a login takes place.
The company is taking the steps after a rise in malicious accounts sending users direct messages (DMs) pretending to be from Instagram itself. These messages might say your account is at risk of being banned, you’re violating Instagram’s rules, or your photos are being shared elsewhere and ask you to share your password or other information.
It’s easy to tell if these are fake, though, because Instagram says it will never send you a DM. Any official messages from the company will appear on the “Emails from Instagram” tab in your settings.
Another scam to look out for is fake emails asking you to follow a link to reset your password. These are most likely the result of bots trying to gain access to many accounts at once and can be ignored. Again, you can simply check the “Emails from Instagram” section on the app to verify if they are real.
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Instagram said of the changes: “Accounts that impersonate others, use their verification status to hack and target people or generally conduct spammy behavior with the hopes of misleading people on Instagram break our rules. We are constantly improving our technology to find and stop this behavior.”
The company also shared some top tips to help keep your account secure:
Make sure your phone number and email are up to date on the app. You can check this by going to Settings on the app and selecting Personal Information.
Turn on two-factor authentication. When this feature is enabled, every time you log in you will be asked to enter a code sent to your phone number or an app. This helps make sure only people using your phone can log in. Instagram says authentication will be possible using WhatsApp within the next few weeks.
Report suspicious messages, accounts or posts to Instagram by tapping the three dots above a post, holding down on a message or by reporting directly from an account profile.
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