Instagram simplifies account recovery process to take back hijacked usernames

It's fair to say account security at Instagram has been shaky in recent months, with large numbers of passwords exposed and reports on a rising number of intrusion attempts.

Now the company is taking measures that won't prevent account hijacking but should make it much easier to recover your account in such an event and serve as a deterrent to potential hackers.

Instagram is currently testing an updated in-app account recovery process. In the event of an 'unfriendly account-takeover' users previously had to email Instagram or complete a support-form and then wait for a response.

With the new process the app requests user-specific information, for example the email and phone number originally linked to the account and then sends a six-digit code sent to the contact info of your choice.

Hackers will then be prevented from using the account on other devices and the new method also ensures that your account can be recovered even if user name and contact information have been changed by an intruder. In addition a user name cannot be claimed for a certain period after a name change, so you can get your user name back after your account has been recovered.

While the simplified recovery process should be welcome by all users who have suffered a hacked account it will also be beneficial to Instagram itself. If users can recover an account themselves in the app, this means less work for the security team.

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Mariano Pacifico

Heck! It's only pictures! Nothing private about it. Let them hack and enjoy my smartphone photos. Please like, share & subscribe.

Just do not upload inappropriate photos. Thank you, hackers. One hacker at a time, please. Just do not change the password I'm game.

Jun 17, 2019*

Instagram is so messed up. All of my accounts were hacked and made to "follow" thousands of other accounts that I had absolutely no interest in. Lots of people getting fake followers that way. Instagram offers no solution for this. They even stop you from unfollowing more than 50 people in a day.

Jun 17, 2019

Password recovery is even easier - just call 'em up and they'll give your password over the phone using their sophisticated plain-text password retention system.

Jun 17, 2019*


Jun 17, 2019
otto k

"this means less work for the security team" - whether they can do any less is open for discussion /s

Jun 17, 2019