Instagram Is Setting New Recovery System for Hacked Accounts

The company is finally putting in place a new automated method for account recovery that asks users to supply their emails or phone numbers associated to the account.

Instagram Security system

Instagram is making it easier for you to recover your account even after hacker attacks.
Over the past week, Instagram started tests on a feature that has been demanded by users on the social network for a very long time. They are finally putting in place an automated method for account recovery that asks the user for an email address or the phone number associated to the account. The system will send a six-digit code to the contact information chosen by the user to regain access.

As incredible as it might sound, Instagram is well known for having one of the most complexes and slow process to recover an account if users misplace their password or get their accounts hacked. This is regarded by many as a significant upgrade already over the current account recovery system that asks users to send a selfie holding a piece of paper with a handwritten code to Instagram to do something about it. The affected parties had to wait as long as two weeks for the company to confirm their identity of the user, which of course give the attackers plenty of time to do as they please with the hijacked account.

While Instagram is still very popular and has already surpassed Facebook in number of active users, the security of the platform is often perceived as a running joke since it’s pretty easy to hack an account. Scammers can get access to any Instagram account by guessing the password since there are no limits to the number of tries you can do. They can also steal the information they need with a phishing scheme. Another known method to get access includes SIM swapping, which has the hacker trying to pose as the victim and mislead other smart device users into handing over access to other people’s personal information.


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The new solution put in place by Instagram assumes that any victim of hacking will still have access to the email address associated with the account or their cell phone number. They are also placing the means to detect if the email address related to the account has been compromised. If that’s the case, they will send the six-digit code to the phone number provided by the user. Once the user regains access to the hacked account, they can choose the phone number or email of association to be set permanently until the user decides to change it.

Recovering Access Means Recovering Full Control

It’s interesting to see the extents of the new protective measures taking by Instagram. The new recovery method will still work even if the attacker changes the account’s username or phone number to something new. Instagram will send the six-digit recovery code to the original contact information provided by the user at the moment of the creation of the account.

If the attacker happens to gain access to the email address related to the account as well as the mobile phone number associated with it, the recovery process will be slower since it will require the assistance of a review teams. Instagram plans to treat such cases as their top priority since they will be considered “edge cases.” The user only needs to get in touch with the team tasked with community operations to reassign the affected account to a new secure email address.

For the time being, Instagram is planning to make this new account recovery system sleeker and more optimal as they expand the option across the platform. There will be another fail-safe in place as well. This one will be related to usernames and the protection of it. If an attacker gets a hold of an account and changes the username, the platform will give the victim full accesses to their old handle to avoid anyone from claiming it.

The new protection system is currently available on Android exclusively. Instagram still encourage users strongly to set two-factor authentication to access their accounts.