Posted on August 16, 2018 at 1:54 PM
In a time when many are paranoid about data breaches on social media, Instagram accounts are now the targets of hackers. Hundreds of Instagram accounts have been hacked since the beginning of this month, according to Mashable. To make matters worse, the email addresses linked to these accounts are being changed to addresses with Russian domains.
Common Types of Problems
Some of the common issues found with these recent hacks are users being unable to log in to their Instagram accounts. Although some people can see their profile pictures, others have been replaced with Disney or Pixar images. Also, when attempting to access their accounts, the users have noticed that their information has been replaced with Russian email addresses and domains. The former login information no longer exists in the profile and this makes it difficult for the users to regain access to their accounts.
Who’s to Blame?
At this point, no one individual or group has claimed responsibility for the recent hacks. However, Instagram has reportedly implemented its remediation protocol to bring resolution to the problem which has now become widespread. This protocol includes eliminating all access to the accounts and allowing the original user to reset their passwords. On the other hand, it is not certain how the original owners can completely regain possession of their accounts.
How are the hackers accessing the accounts? At present, this is not clear. However, the Mashable investigation reports that this type of activity is not new to Instagram. But the recent round of hacks has brought additional attention to the problem as a result of the increase in Google searches, tweet, and Reddit forum posts discussing the issue.
Possible Security Prevention in the Future
Instagram has suggested that its users change their passwords often. It also encourages the use of a variety of characters to prevent the possibility of passwords being discovered. In addition to the mixture of character usage, Instagram suggests establishing the set up of two-factor authentication. Although this does provide complete protection from hacking, it does provide additional security. Also, users should keep their usernames and passwords in a secure place where access is limited. Instagram suggests that users restrict their third-party app authorizations as well.
At this point, it is not certain how many Instagram accounts have been hacked. At last count, it numbered in the hundreds. However, it is also not certain how much this will affect the social media platform’s users in the wake of the previous Facebook events. Will this cause users to begin to migrate to another competing platform? Or will they begin to abstain altogether? One thing is certain, all social media users need to take extra precautions to protect themselves from potential privacy data breaches in the future.