Instagram today announced new tools to help keep its users safe on the social network. In a post published today, co-founder and CTO Mike Krieger detailed a few changes being made to help combat fake accounts as well as reinforcing security through two-step verification.
First, accounts with a broad audience will now have more information exposed to those that visit it. A new "About this account" option will be added to the menu, allowing users to see when the account was created, where it's located, changes made to the username in the past year, and ads the account may be running at the time. Additionally, it will be possible to see other accounts that have the same followers. Accounts affected by this change will be notified next month about what kind of information will be made public.
Staying on the topic of notable accounts, Instagram is making it easier for those users to request verification. Verifying your account certifies that it's run by a legitimate person, and now anyone will be able to apply for this process - provided they meet certain requirements, which weren't specified. Naturally, not everyone who applies will be accepted, and Instagram will require real-life identification to verify an account as well. This should make it easier to spot fake accounts that attempt to impersonate popular users.
Lastly, focusing more on general users, Instagram is adding support for third-party apps for two-step authentication. Using SMS for this process can bring about its own set of security concerns, so it's good to see the social network adopt other verification processes. The Instagram app will automatically detect any verification apps you may have installed and send a code to it, or take you to the app store to install one if you haven't already. This feature has already begun rolling out and should be available to everyone soon.
A couple of weeks ago, many Instagram users saw their accounts being hacked by unknown people, which left them locked out of the service. Hopefully, these measures make it easier to fend off future attacks on Instagram accounts.