The most surprising thing about Instagram rolling out two-factor authentication is that it didn’t do it sooner.
The move gives its 400 million users the option to add another layer of security to their accounts, making life a whole lot harder for havoc-causing hackers.
While Facebook-owned Instagram is yet to make an official announcement, it confirmed to TechCrunch on Tuesday that it’s currently in the process of offering the verification process to its users.
Two-step authentication can take various forms, but essentially it means you have to input two pieces of information instead of the usual one (ie. your password) when accessing your account.
In the case of Instagram, setting up the new security tool will reportedly require you to link your account to your phone number. You’ll then be sent a unique code to enter alongside your password when you login. That means a hacker can’t login to your account from another device unless they have your password and your phone so that they can receive the passcode. So don’t lose your phone. And don’t give away your password.
It’s an optional security feature, so you don’t have to use it, but for the hassle it could potentially save down the line – imagine a hacker deleting all your photos or posting their own potentially dodgy images – you’d be sensible to set it up. The extra layer of security will certainly come as a relief to brands and celebrities whose accounts are likely to be of more interest to hackers. And the feature takes on a whole new level of importance now that the photo- and video-sharing app has rolled out multiple account support.
Instagram’s two-factor authentication is currently in the process of being rolled out, and we can expect an official announcement on the matter as soon as it’s happy with how it’s working.