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.

Facebook’s New Dashboard Can Help You Manage Your Time On App

Source: TheVerge; Facebook

The well-being movement in the world of technology continues! Facebook has announced its new time management feature on its app that will now allow its users to set a time limit on how long they spend scrolling through their news feeds. With the “Daily Reminder” feature in hand, users can be notified of their daily time limit reached on the social media site.

Facebook’s update comes after Instagram’s own time management features that rolled out two weeks ago.

Ameet Ranadive, leader of Instagram’s well-being management team, explained how they “want these tools to be widely available to the whole community, and to anyone that would benefit from using them.” He further explains how “[i]t’s really important for people that use Instagram and Facebook to feel like the time that they spend with us is time well spent,” and that users feel “empowered” when making conscientious decisions about the time they put in for engaging in social media activities.

While Facebook hasn’t implemented a feature for users to block their own access to use the app like Apple’s Screen Time, there is still an advantage to the reminder notifications and usage details that allow one to control their time spent online.

This new feature can be accessed by checking the Settings & Privacy menu, where you can select “Your Time On Facebook”.

Twitter Turns 8

If you’ve had Twitter since it launched in 2006, you may have hundreds or thousands of tweets, but do you remember your first one?

Twitter turns 8 today, and to celebrate, they are urging users to check what their very first tweet was by using this link. After reminiscing, users are encouraged to share their introductory tweets with #FirstTweet.

Here’s ours:

screenshot-by-nimbus (1)

Adopting the SoLoMo Strategy

Use of search engines to find local businesses spurred interest in SEO, but now that consumers are becoming more mobile in their online activity, a Social-Location-Mobile strategy (SoLoMo) is becoming more popular.

For example, let’s say you’re hungry while traveling in an unfamiliar area. On Groupon’s mobile app, a tab labeled “Nearby” shows what deals are available within a given radius. You can buy a deal on your phone and grab lunch using your purchased coupon. To make it more social, your deal is free if three of your friends purchase it too using an assigned link given after check out. Groupon’s app is is made to promote sharing (social), the results displayed are found using geolocation (local/location), and the app is made for smartphones (mobile); SoLoMo.

Image c/o Siliconangle.com

 

For many small businesses, an app for customers isn’t always the best way to reach their audience. Whether this describes you or not, here are the basic guidelines to help your business in the SoLoMo age.

Social

Image c/o Be Transported

Most businesses should have a profile on social platforms, and if Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t appropriate for you, every business should still be on LinkedIn. There are many creative ways to keep your business relevant in the social media realm. You can promote check-ins at your location, offer discounts for liking your business, and even host contests with giveaways on all platforms.

Location

image c/o DigitalSurgeons.com
image c/o DigitalSurgeons.com

When using search engines, local listings on sites like Google Places, Yahoo, Bing, and Yelp are most likely to come up first on the results page. To ensure your business shows up, make sure you claim these listings (if they already exist, if not, create one) and update and improve them. Always include your web site, a short description about your business, and your business hours.

Mobile

Image c/o Google.com
Image c/o Google.com

With more people browsing on mobile, it should be a priority to make your site mobile optimized. Studies show that users expect mobile sites to load as quickly as desktop versions and will leave a site if they sense it is too slow. These users are looking for specific features like menus for restaurants, or an online order form. Keep it simple and mobile friendly. If a mobile version isn’t something you’d like to develop, at the very least, make sure your site is viewable on different devices. Any sites built on Flash can’t be displayed on iPhones, which means these businesses aren’t visible to half of all mobile users in the United States.

We could delve into each topic in a blog post series, but these are the very basics of the SoLoMo strategy in a nutshell. if you have any tips, advice, or different ways to approach SoLoMo that worked for you, please share and comment!