Instagram introduces security tool to recover hacked accounts

Instagram announced on Tuesday a security feature that would enable its users to help recover their hacked accounts.  

The Facebook owned platform revealed the new tool called “Security Checkup” in a blog post to guide its users, whose accounts may have been hacked, through the steps needed to secure them. 

Users through this feature will undergo four major steps: after checking their login activity, they will be asked to review their profile information, followed by a confirmation of their login information on different devices, and which will then allow them to update their account recovery contact info such as phone number or email. 

Aside from the new feature, Instagram suggested three additional steps users should use to keep their accounts secure.  

The first being to enable two-factor authentication as it would provide an extra layer of protection.  

Instagram has also highlighted to its users to update their phone numbers and email. “Make sure that the email and phone numbers associated with your device are up to date. That way if something happens to your account, we can reach you. These steps let you recover your account even if your info has been changed by a hacker,” the blog post read. 

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

Finally, the company urged the enabling of login requests which would notify users if access to their accounts have been attempted. The alerts will notify users about the location and the name of the device that have tried to log into their accounts.  

If they do not recognize a recent login, they can simply choose to log out of that location or device and let Instagram know that the login wasn’t them. 

The announcement of this new security checkup tool comes amid several “hacking incidents.” Many Instagram users reported that they received links on their direct messages from accounts pretending to be Instagram. When users clicked on them, they lost access to their account and their personal data.  

In response, the company clarified through its blog post that it never sends DMs to its users. “If Instagram ever wants to reach you about your account, we will do so via the emails from Instagram,” the company stressed.   

Additionally, Instagram warned its users from spam DMs and asked them to block and report such accounts, “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. These messages are often scams and violate our policies.”