Instagram Two-Factor Authentication Is Coming, Meaning Soon You Can Lock Down Your Photo Feed Like Fort Knox
Paranoid about someone hacking your Instagram account and running amok with Valencia-filtered spam ads for garcinia cambogia? I feel you. I mean, really, who isn't? Fortunately, Instagram just confirmed to The Daily Dot that the app's near future includes two-factor authentication. So sooner rather than later, your account will get the kind of high-security lockdown you've been dreaming of, and you can finally put your paranoia to bed.
What does all of this mean for Insta's throngs of faithful users? Simple: You'll soon need a bit more than just your password to protect all of your IG data. The first step of the two-step authentication, of course, will be your password protection. However, once the new update rolls out, you'll have to go through a second step to complete the authentication process. So, for example, you might receive a text message on your phone or answer a security question ("What street did you grow up on?" for 400, Alex) prior to logging into your account.
It's a surprisingly simple and hassle-free system, too. Let's say someone logs into your account from a computer in South Dakota while you're scrolling through Facebook on your phone on the East Coast. An account with two-step authentication would recognize that there's an unverified device attempting to gain access, and will prompt whomever is trying to log into the account to verify their identity with a second step — text, email, app notification, security questions, etc. If your leisurely Facebook scrolling is interrupted by a request to verify your account with one of the ways listed above, you'll know your password has been compromised.
If this sounds familiar, well, that's because it is. You've likely been benefiting from two-step authentication for quite some time with programs and apps such as Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Paypal, Wordpress, and even Twitter. If not, you may only need to enable them to take advantage of the enhanced data protection this feature offers. Once enabled, two-step authentication works in tandem with your password to keep out the riff-raff. Not only would a potential hacker have to know your password, but they would also have to be in possession of your mobile device.
While there's no official word yet on when Instagram will debut two-step authentication, suffice it to say this is a feature you're definitely going to want to enable. Until then, you might want to consider logging into your other accounts and enabling two-step authentication where you can. (Those spammers love a good Gmail blast, don't they?)