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Everything you need to know about the 3 new Instagram security tools

Instagram has been updated with three new features that will help make the social network that is used by north of a billion people safer than before.

Accounts with large number of followers will now get a new ‘About this account’ feature, which will help the users to evaluate the authenticity of the account.

Another feature is a global verification form for public figures and an improved two-factor authentication that makes logging into Instagram more secure.

These features will be updated for everyone on Instagram in the coming weeks.

“Keeping people with bad intentions off our platform is incredibly important to me. That means trying to make sure the people you follow and the accounts you interact with are who they say they are, and stopping bad actors before they cause harm,” says Mike Krieger, Co-Founder & CTO.

About the account

Everything you need to know about the 3 new Instagram security tools

Accounts with a high number of followers will now display more information about their account, which will help the audience evaluate the authenticity of that account.

The information that will be visible to the public via this feature will be first available for review to the accounts with large audiences. Soon after that the About This Account tool will be launched to the platform globally.

If you want to learn more about an account:

  • Go to their profile
  • Tap the ‘three-dot’ menu
  • Tap on About This Account

You will be able to see the following details:

  • Date on which the account joined Instagram
  • Country
  • Accounts with shared followers
  • Username changes in the last year
  • Ads run by the account currently

This increases transparency and makes sure that accounts that have a large following are credible. Instagram has made this change in light of the recent incidents where Facebook removed a number of accounts and pages, including a few from Instagram.

The company aims to make people/pages with a large number of followers to be accountable for their actions and this new feature increases the transparency on the social network.

Verify your Instagram account

Everything you need to know about the 3 new Instagram security tools

The blue verification tick has become a universal sign through social media networks that lets the community know that the specific account is an authentic account of a public figure on not.

Instagram is introducing a new way for accounts to get verified. If you have a large audience and meet the criteria — terms of service and community guidelines — of the company, you can request to be verified from within the app.

Here is how to access the verification form via the Instagram app:

  • Go to your profile
  • Tap on the menu icon and select Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom and choose Request Verification
  • Enter your username, full name, copy of your legal or business identification and submit

Username, full name and the copy of ID will not be shared publicly. Once submitted, the verification request will be reviewed to confirm the authenticity of the account.

Submitting a verification request doesn’t guarantee a blue verification badge. Once reviewed, you’ll receive a notification that’ll tell you if your request was confirmed or declined.

“Instagram will never request payment for verification or reach out to ask you to confirm your verification.”

2FA support for third-party authenticator apps

Everything you need to know about the 3 new Instagram security tools

Two-factor authentication has been available on Instagram for long but that was an SMS-based authentication, which has been proven isn’t as efficient.

Now, the company is launching a third-party authenticator app support too. This means that now you’ll be able to use third-party authenticators to secure your Instagram account.

Here is how to set up a two-factor authentication via third-party apps:

  • Go to your profile, tap the menu icon
  • Tap on Settings
  • Scroll to the bottom, tap on Two-Factor Authentication
  • Tap on Authentication App as your preferred form of authentication

If there is an authentication app on your device, Instagram will detect and send a code to it. Once you get the code on the app, you’ll need to enter it on Instagram and the two-factor authentication to your account via the app will be turned on.

If you don’t have an authenticator app installed already, you’ll be redirected to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to download one of your choice. Once you install it, you’ll need to return to Instagram and continue setting up two-factor authentication for your account.

This feature has begun to roll out and will be available globally in the coming weeks.

Related read: Instagram account hacked? Here is how to keep it safe


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