New Instagram Tool Will ‘Freeze Your Username’ To Protect It From Hackers

Doris Richards
June 18, 2019

Once inside the account, the hackers changed the password, asking for a payment in Bitcoin to return access to the user.

Instagram is testing a new way for people to recover their accounts if they get locked out or hacked.

With this process, the photo-messaging app also intends to prevent hackers from using email or phone number codes to take over accounts from different devices, the report said.

The trial is an in-app function where users submit contact information associated with the account, and then receive an access code.

The company says it is making a series of changes that will make it easier for people to regain access to a hacked account.

To tackle these issues, Instagram will deploy additional measures to ensure that the secret codes sent to your mailbox or phone number can not be used by hackers to access the account from a different device.


Taking it a step further, the Instagram spokesperson said the company will ensure that usernames are safe "for a period of time after any account changes" as to thwart someone from taking ownership of it immediately after a hack. Moreover, if a hacker changed your handle, it doesn't mean that he or she can sign up for a new Instagram account under your previous alias.

Whether they're attempting to steal your Instagram account to sell it back to you for Bitcoin, or whether they have different plans with it, hackers are more and more interested in gaining access to Instagram properties.

Users have reported Instagram sending recovery emails to the address of their hackers, for example, or inexplicably telling them it could not verify their identity even though they provided the information requested.

The new recovery process is aimed at letting users recover an account from within the app itself, rather than having to lean on the security team. Additional support will still be available to those who need it though, according to an Instagram spokesperson.

Now locked-out account holders have to email specific verification to Instagram's security team before access can be restored. Hackers will often change a username in order to scoop it up for a fresh account or sell it on shady forums. Instagram accounts can be hacked in many ways: whether it's through a phishing link, or if the victim uses the same login and password for another service that suffered a data breach. But it should also give users more power to get their accounts back.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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