Instagram announced another feature which although already available to all Android users, will be launched on iOS, to prevent name-squatters on the profiles
Testing new features, Instagram will make it difficult for hackers to steal accounts and hold them for ransom in order to make quick money in the process. There has been a spate of incidents in which hackers target popular Instagram accounts of influencers, and threatening to delete them unless their victims pay them for it.
In some instances, victims had to pay over $100 to get access to their accounts with some of them having over 50,000 followers before the account was taken over, Motherboard has reported. In other cases, hackers would leverage accounts with a huge following and sell those accounts for the money to the tune of $100,000, The Atlantic has reported.
The targeted Instagrammers would often be unable to retrieve their accounts through traditional methods as the hackers would change the account’s email address and phone numbers or another such measure to prevent account recoveries.
Instagram said that they have safety measures in place to stop the hacking of accounts in the first place, however, they are also aware that those measures are not enough and account holders struggle to recover their accounts.
In August 2018, Instagram recognised that users were finding it harder to access their Instagram accounts and therefore told people to enable two-factor authentication for their account and allocating stronger passwords.
There are many ways to hack the accounts on the picture-sharing app, be it a phishing link or the same login and password being used for another platform which suffered a data breach.
Instagram users have complained in the past that the Facebook-owned platform did not do enough to help them recover their accounts that were hacked.
How to recover a hacked Instagram account
On Monday, the photo-sharing platform announced two new features that could help victims retrieve those hacked Instagram accounts.
If the image-sharing app finds that the user is facing trouble logging on or if the user taps on “Need more help” on the login page itself, Instagram will prompt the user to type information such as the email and phone number linked to that account.
If hackers have succeeded in changing the contact information, users could ask the app to send a six-digit recovery code to the email or phone number they originally used to sign up for Instagram.
The Mark Zuckerberg-led platform also stated that it would also remove all additional devices from the said account after the verification method is used This would force out the hackers on other devices and they will be unable to get on the account again.
After the user has recovered their stolen Instagram account, they could select what email address and phone number they want to link with the profile.
In addition, Instagram announced another feature which although already available to all Android users, will be launched on iOS, to prevent name-squatters on the profiles.
Popular handles on Instagram accounts are often the target for hackers, as they have the potential to be sold off for a high price. Now, if one precedes to change their username on Instagram, the account will be locked up for a duration of time before someone can access it.
This feature was launched without much fanfare and was first spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong back in March.