Instagram is Testing New Feature That Can Help Users Combat Hackers Stealing Accounts

Image Source: iStock.com/bigtunaonline

Instagram is working on putting user account security at a high priority by making it more difficult for hackers to steal accounts to hold them hostage for ransom or sell for high profit.  

Hackers are after big influencer accounts in a scheme reported by Motherboard which involves cybercriminals targeting big name Instagrammers. The attack works through an email link that – once clicked – directs users towards a fake Instagram login page. Once a hacker steals the login credentials and has access to the account, victims are unable to sign-back in or regain access to their own profiles, as hackers change both the recovery email address and phone numbers associated with the account.

Instagram had previously acknowledged the problem of users having difficulty in accessing their accounts, to which the company had advised in setting up two-factor authentication as well as implementation of stronger passwords, but adding these extra steps of security doesn’t exactly help when a cybercriminal has already accessed an account. Phishing links have been used as a primary means of tricking influencers into signing into bogus login pages made to look authentic. Furthermore, if an influencer has used the same account credentials that were previously involved in a data breach elsewhere, cybercriminals can use this information to their advantage to gain access to an account

After users have long complained about Instagram’s lack of responsibility and initiative in taking care of the hacker issue, the company recently announced new ways of combating this ransom tactic.

If a user can’t log in to his/her page, Instagram gives one the option of sending a six-digit authentication code to the account’s original phone number or email address that was used when the account was first created. Any other devices used by hackers that are logged in will be logged out, allowing a user to recover their page by resetting their email and password. This feature is currently under testing. 

Image Source: Instagram

 

Instagram has also promised to bring another feature – one already available for Android users – to iOS. The feature allows a user to change their Instagram handle while also allowing one to maintain their previous handle for 14 days. This upcoming update is meant to deter any hackers from taking popular usernames to sell for profit. After the 14 day period is over, the username becomes available for anyone to use.

Instagram’s IGTV is here: Should YouTube be worried?

Are Instagram and youtube now competing? Instagram has launched IGTV for users to upload videos up to one hour long that is cool. Let’s dive into what this feature has to offer!

How IGTV Works

IGTV will let anyone post and be creative, not just known celebrities, but Unfortunately, not everyone will have access to it unless the user has a set amount of followers and photos!

The app is available on iOS and Android, as well as in the Instagram app through a TV-shaped button above Stories. Systrom explains,“We made it a dedicated app so you can tap on it and enjoy watching videos without all the distraction.”

The users will be able to watch longer videos than usual or swipe up to visit a browse section to find what interests them

IGTV will also let people subscribe to other users’ channels, just like how YouTube is set up. Video creators will also be able to put links in their videos to maximize viewer audience.  

Good news! No Commercials on IGTV just yet…

“There are no ads in IGTV today,” says Systrom, but he also said that “It’s obviously a very reasonable place [for ads] to end up.” He explained that since creators are investing a lot of time into IGTV videos, he wants to make it free of distraction as possible!

With 1 billion users on Instagram, IGTV could be popular with creators not only trying to earn money but to grow their audience. Instagram is not only for creators, but its for business owners who want to attract clients and for the creators to get revenue from the videos.

Instagram has advanced a long ways past just being able to share and like pictures. The social media app can now be the new mobile TV, but we all know that YouTube will always have a wider breadth of content. 

 

Photo Maps on Instagram


Geotagging has spurred interesting mobile capabilities in the last few years, enabling users to document where photos have been taken and post to social media their locations. If you take photos of your travels using Instagram, or if you enjoy using the photo app to browse others’ snapshots from around the world, the new “Photo Maps” feature might appeal to you.  Earlier this week Instagram released an update allowing users to view their geotagged photos on a map instead of the traditional thumbnail format.

Photo Maps groups photos which are taken in close proximity into stacks.

This new organization format eliminates the need to scroll through hundreds of photos to find pictures taken at a known location. It makes it easier to look up old photos that may have been forgotten. Learn more about how to use Photo Maps by watching Instagram’s walk through

Facebook Camera Launches

Yesterday, Facebook launched a photo app very similar to Instagram, which is odd considering they just spent $1 billion acquiring the 13-man company. 

Facebook Camera is a standalone application which is fairly easy to use and very fast. They have implemented filters like Instagram and have spent a lot of time learning from their predecessor who has set the standards in such a short period of time.

Photo Credit: TechCrunch.com

CLICK HERE to read more.

This portion of the article puts things into perspective in a nutshell:

“In essence, Instagram was taking over mobile photos, and Facebook couldn’t wait around and watch the company snap up every user while still working on perfecting the Facebook Camera app.”

 I guess we’ll have to wait and see what becomes of the Facebook Camera.