Instagram is testing a new way for people to recover their accounts if they get locked out or hacked. Currently locked-out account holders have to email specific verification to Instagram’s security team before access can be restored. The trial is an in-app function where users submit contact information associated with the account, and then receive an access code.
This will work even if the account has been hacked and the details changed. One of the ways in which the platform currently accepts verification is in the form of an emailed photograph of the account holder holding up a piece of paper with a handwritten code on it.
Instagrammer Lindsie Comerford ended up asking an ethical hacker for help after her account was hacked in 2018. She wrote a blog post about her experience after finding the official recovery process frustrating and unsuccessful.
“Well, apparently to get a hacked account back I have got to email support and help 10 times, leave 3 voicemails, and report my account before I could reach a magical help screen that actually guides you towards getting your account back,” she wrote in a blog post.
“Getting the help is no easy feat though and honestly it requires sheer digital magic.” Facebook-owned Instagram also announced that it is introducing a time delay before a username can be claimed by someone else if an account is hacked or the user decides to change it. The feature is available to all Android users.