Instagram Tests Changes to Help Users Recover Hacked Accounts
Hackers have been targeting many high-profiled Instagram accounts and there was a wave of complaints related to such incidents. High-profile accounts, like those of lifestyle and fitness influencers, were hacked. The hackers would execute the attack via phishing emails supposedly coming from brands that would want to sponsor the target. Once they get access to targets’ accounts, they would change passwords and then demand a payment in Bitcoin to get the account recovered. Following these attacks, users had flooded Instagram with complaints and they were even blaming the company of not giving proper customer support. Users were so frustrated with Instagram’s cumbersome account recovery process that they turned to other experts for help.
Now Instagram has announced the testing of changes that could make it easier for users to recover hacked accounts. Instagram also introduces some security features that would make it harder for cybercriminals to steal Instagram usernames. Thus, it’s a two-pronged approach with the focus on adopting measures to prevent instagram account hacking and also on introducing measures to help users recover hacked accounts.
Instagram begins testing the first change on Monday, June 17, 2019. As per this change, users, if they find it difficult to sign in with Instagram telling them that the password they are entering is incorrect (as a result of hackers changing the password), could click the ‘Need more help’ option on the login page and get a six-digit code sent to their email address or phone number. This code would allow them to regain access to their accounts.
However, there are possibilities that hackers sometimes have access to the victims’ email accounts or even their phone numbers. Hence, to solve this issue, Instagram has taken additional measures to ensure that the codes sent to a user’s email address or phone number cannot be used to access the account from a different device. This new process that’s being tested would make it possible for a hacking victim to recover instagram account even if the hacker has changed the account’s username. This is significant since hackers had been targeting users with sought-after handles, including first names, single words etc. The new change that Instagram is testing would also reportedly ensure that a person’s username remains safe for a period of time after any kind of account changes, thus making it impossible for someone else to claim the username even if the original user loses access to the Instagram account following a hack. This feature, currently available on Android, will now be available to iOS users as well.
Experts are of the opinion that the new changes that are being tested would have a great impact on Instagram account takeovers by cybercriminals and would be of great help to users. Instances of hackers trying to claim usernames for accounts that are hacked and instances of hackers using other devices to access targeted accounts would definitely go down, say the experts.