With hacking incidents on the rise, Instagram is rolling out a new Security Checkup alert in the app, which aims to help users keep their Instagram accounts secure by prompting them to update their profile info and settings.
As explained by Instagram:
"Security Checkup will guide people, whose accounts may have been hacked, through the steps needed to secure them. This includes 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 check-up will be shown to all users with any level of suspicious activity - but even if you haven't experienced any issues on this front, it also serves as a good reminder to review and update your account settings, in order to avoid any potential issues with your profile.
Furthering this push, Instagram also recommends that users switch on two-factor authentication (users will also soon be able to use their WhatsApp number for Instagram 2FA), and to ensure that the email and phone numbers associated with their account and device are up to date.
And finally, Instagram has also issued a reminder that if you ever get a DM claiming to be from Instagram, it's most definitely not from them:
"Instagram will never send you a DM: 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. These messages are often scams and violate our policies."
Instagram says that it's always working to combat these types of scams, and notes that users should report and block these account, if any do get in touch.
"If Instagram ever wants to reach you about your account, we will do so via the “Emails from Instagram” tab in your settings, which is the only place you will find direct and authentic communication from us on the app."
You can find out more about the 'Emails from Instagram' tab here.
Instagram further notes that it's made significant updates to its Support Inbox, in order to provide more information about what’s happening with your reports, and that it's continually working to update its detection and removal processes to better protect users from such scams.
It's a valuable reminder, particularly as more cases of high-profile hacks and cybercrime hit the news, and as more people become increasingly reliant on their online profiles and platforms to stay connected, for work and play, in a broader range of contexts.
Indeed, within the larger WFH shift, our reliance on such tools is growing, which gives hackers even more leverage to extort and threaten users with potential harm. As such, it's important to take these threats seriously, and to do what you can to secure your accounts with these advancing options.
You can find out more about Instagram's account security and reporting tools here.