instagramlogoWith social media account hacking becoming increasingly more widespread, users would do well to make sure they're taking every security measure available to them. That goes doubly for frequenters of Facebook-owned Instagram, where account hijacking in particular is a recurring problem.

One of the best ways to protect any online account is by using two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA offers hardened security during login attempts by requesting that the user provides an extra piece of information only they would know, such as a randomly generated code from a third-party.

Instagram has supported two-factor authentication for some time, but it was tied to a phone number and required users to receive text messages, which has proven to be insecure and left some Instagram users vulnerable to SIM hacking. Last week however, Instagram added non SMS-based two-factor authentication to the app with support for third-party authenticator apps.

With 2FA enabled, you'll be the only person who can access your Instagram account from another device, regardless of whether someone learns your password as the result of a hack or a phishing scam, so it's well worth taking the time to enable the feature. This article shows you how. Note that you'll need to download an authenticator app to follow the steps below – we'll be using Google Authenticator, but Authy is another tried and tested option that works equally well.

How to Protect Your Instagram Account With 2FA

  1. Launch the Instagram app on your iPhone and log in to your account if you aren't already.
    secure your instagram account 1

  2. Tap your profile picture in the bottom right of the Instagram feed.
  3. On your profile page, tap the three-lined button at the top-right of the screen.
  4. Tap Settings at the bottom of the pop-out side menu.
    secure your instagram account02

  5. Tap Two-factor authentication, listed under privacy and security settings.
  6. Tap Get Started.
  7. Tap the Authenticator toggle.
  8. Tap Next.
  9. Tap Open in the prompt that says Instagram wants to open Google Authenticator.
    secure your instagram account03

  10. A prompt will appear in Authenticator asking if you want to add a token for your Instagram account. Tap Yes to confirm.
  11. Tap and hold on the Instagram token to copy the code to the clipboard.
  12. Return to Instagram and long press on the code entry field, then tap the Paste pop-up to enter the authenticator code.

And that's it – 2FA is now enabled for your Instagram account. Note that once you've authenticated a trusted device in this way, you won’t have to do it every time you launch the app, but your account will remain protected.

Top Rated Comments

Jyby Avatar
43 months ago
Science Rules!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdatwood Avatar
43 months ago
So basically as trivial as getting into someone else's car with a key, provided one finds a way to get the dealership to give them a duplicate key for someone else's car.
Not at analogous at all. A dealership actually has some protections in place like ID checks. I'm also not sure what dealership will mail me a key to someones car if I just call and give them my name and number. Cell phone companies port numbers almost at will because historically people complained that porting was hard. ATT is currently in a lawsuit with a person who lost 200M of bitcoin because they ported out his number. Social engineering it not the only way though. From this article:

https://www.wired.com/2016/06/hey-stop-using-texts-two-factor-authentication/

Tactics like social-engineering or strong-arming the phone company to subvert two-factor comprise only a fraction of SMS vulnerabilities. Fake cell phone towers known as IMSI catchers or "stingrays" can intercept text messages, too. And the security community has recently been calling attention to weaknesses in SS7 ('https://www.wired.com/2016/04/the-critical-hole-at-the-heart-of-cell-phone-infrastructure/'), the protocol that allows telecom networks to communicate with each other. Hackers can exploit SS7 to spoof a change to a user's phone number, intercepting their calls or text messages. "Any network can tell any other network 'your subscriber’s here now,' and until your phone says otherwise, every call and text is diverted to this other network," says Karsten Nohl, the chief scientist at Security Research Labs, who recently demonstrated the attack for 60 Minutes. "If there’s an attacker, they get all your text messages. it’s completely trust-based...It’s so simple it’s almost embarrassing to call it a hack."
That was 2 years ago, and the attacks have only gotten easier to pull off. I know someone who makes their living on IG, and this was one of their biggest fears. Finally adding a secure 2FA method is a big deal.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jyby Avatar
43 months ago
Science Rules!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdatwood Avatar
43 months ago
Trivial how?
There is lots of information online, but this describes the easy social engineerings ones.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/08/reddit-breach-highlights-limits-of-sms-based-authentication/
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdatwood Avatar
43 months ago
Since we are having a conversation about sim hacking, this timely article came out today.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/5984zn/listen-to-sim-jacking-account-ransom-instagram-email-tmobile
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
makr Avatar
43 months ago
2FA did little to protect my instagram account from being hacked. I was not even able to fully reclaim it. Only solution was to delete and I don't miss it one bit.
How did they hack your account with 2FA on?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...